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: 6 years in 225L American oak barrels handmade by the López de Heredia coopers, racked twice per year and at least 6 years in bottle before released.
Nose: Fresh complex nose, pear, stone fruits, floral.
Taste: The results of bottle aging are to be felt on the palate, yellow pears and dried apples. Wet rocks, white flowers, earthy notes.
Gastronomy: Perfect with all kinds of fish and grilled seafood. Well-seasoned white meats.
Color: Natural gold, developed.
Talking About the Wines:
-Washington Wine Blog, Aug '20 gave 94 points to 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva (white). - The 2008 R. Lopez Heredia ‘Vina Tondonia Reserva’ Blanco impresses with beeswax tones woven together with cantaloupe, toasty oak and shades of starfruit on the nose. The palate is soft and generous with a wonderful sense of mouthfeel. There is almost a fino Sherry tone to the wine with the strong nutty flavors and fantastic sense of salinity to the wine. Layers of toasty oak wrap around the core of melon, lemon rind and beeswax flavors with dried apricot and salted Marcona almond accents. Complex and delicious in its youth, this has a long life ahead of it. Drink 2020-2033
-A View From The Cellar, Oct ’19 gave 93 points to 2005 Viña Tondonia Reserva (white). “The 2005 Viña Tondonia Rioja Blanco “Reserva” from López de Heredia is really drinking well at age fourteen, with a wide open and beautifully complex personality and a lovely spine of acidity to also carry it far into the future. The complex and classic bouquet wafts from the glass in a mix of lemon, a touch of fig, salty soil tones, paraffin, white flowers, hints of the browned butter tones to come, orange peel and coconutty American oak. On the palate the wine is bright, focused and full-bodied, with excellent depth at the core, zesty acids and a long, well- balanced and very complex finish. This is gorgeous.”
-Wine & Spirits Magazine, Oct ’19 gave 96 points to 2005 Viña Tondonia Reserva Blanco. “A classic Estate in Haro, López de Heredia was founded in 1977. The current generation at the helm of the estate – Maria José, Mercedes and Julio Cesar – run it essentially in the same way their forebears did, farming and harvesting by hand, and vinifying the wines slowly, with extended aging in oak barrels produced in their onsite cooperage. No wine is released here before its ready: All the releases we tasted this year had aged for more than a decade, and all will continue to evolve for many more years, if allowed. It’s probably easiest to find them in restaurants: Last year, López de Heredia placed number one as the most popular brand in our annual Restaurant Poll; this is the winery’s seventh appearance in the Top 100.”