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 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.”
-International Wine Review, July '15 gave 95 points to 1994 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. "... has developed an incredible earthy mushroom and herbal complexity. It offers excellent concentration and acidity that has helped preserve this wine for almost 20 years. The finish goes on and on with notes of undergrowth, tea, and almonds."
-eRobertParker.com, The Wine Advocate, Apr '15 gave 96 points to 1994 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. "Complex white, with notes of curry and meat broth (think umami), that are complex, subtle and aromatic, shows developing notes of mushrooms, autumn forest, aromatic herbs... The palate reveals a very compact wine, very intense, round, but focused, with high-pitched flavors, great acidity, and length. The wine is a chameleon, keeps changing in the glass..."