THE VINEYARD TONDONIA - Don Rafael López de Heredia acquired Viña Tondonia from a group of clergies in 1913. The Tondonia vineyard is a beautiful vineyard of over 247 acres, 1,600 feet above sea level, situated on the right bank of the Ebro River in Rioja Alta. The soil is Alluvial clay with a high concentration of Limestone. Tondonia vineyard has a few acres of white grapes (Viura and Malvasia), from which R. López de Heredia makes their Tondonia Blanco. This small section of the vineyard is widely regarded as some of the most definitive “terroir” for white Rioja.
Region /Sub- Region: Spain, Rioja, Rioja Alta.
Grapes: 90% Viura, 10% Malvasia.
Soil: Alluvial clay and Limestone.
Harvest: End September-early October, all done by hand, cutting with a curved knife "corquete", prevents the grape breaking causing fermentation prematurely. Bunches are placed in conical wood containers made at the R. López de Heredia cooperage.
Vinification: Grapes are crushed immediately releasing their must and with as little contact with skins as possible. Spontaneous fermentation in 16,000L vats.
Aging: 10 years in 225L American oak barrels, handmade by the López de Heredia coopers, racked twice per year and at least 9 years in bottle before released.
Nose: Bees wax, citrus zest and stewed apple, with notes of mushrooms and dried flowers.
Taste: Smooth, round and well developed. Rich but still fresh on the palate, black tea and tree nuts.
Gastronomy: All kinds of fish, white meats, egg dishes, truffle pasta and cheese dishes.
Color: Rich gold and evolved oxidative amber rim.
Talking About the Wines:
-JamesSuckling.com “Top 100 Wines of 2020” gave 98 points to 2001 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. "Wonderful aromas of almonds, nougat, dried peaches and vanilla bean follow through to a full body with a dense palate of ripe fruit and amazing, unique vanilla cream. Some candle wax and light varnish, too. Historical taste of Rioja that every wine lover should try. Drink now."
-The Wine Advocate, Oct '20 gave 99 points to 2001 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. – “The palate has pungent flavors and great length. There is great balance and harmony, all the pieces are there to deliver a wine that is going to last 40 or more years. There is a Jura-like twist of rancid nuts and some spices in the nose, which is clearly above all the other whites, complex, layered, nuanced and intense. It has very pungent, penetrating flavors of mushroom and forest floor, more powerful but subtle, finishing with a pleasant bitter and salty twist. The complexity and balance her are brutal, with bitter, sweet, salty, acidity…and umami!”
-JamesSuckling.com “Top 100 Wines of 2017” gave 98 points to 1996 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. “Aromas of wax, lime zest, lemon curd, and cooked apple. Dried mango, too. Full body, dense, and rich with incredible depth of fruit and intensity. Big and powerful, yet so fresh, and fruity. Texture of a top Montrachet.”