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:
-Vinous Media, Apr '21 gave 95 points to 2009 Viña Tondonia Reserva (white). "Limpid gold. Powerful, mineral-accented aromas of dried orchard and pit fruits, brown butter, coconut, beeswax, chamomile and lemon pith are sharpened by a suggestion of candied ginger. Deeply concentrated pear skin, peach pit, orange marmalade, vanilla and toasted nut flavors pick up a smoky topnote as the wine opens up. There's a lot here that reminds me of an aged Sauternes, but the acidity is fresh, giving the wine an intriguing push–pull expression of decadence and vibrancy. Finishes very long, chewy and precise, showing firm mineral and spicy cut and a touch of saltiness.”
-The Wine Advocate, Oct '20 gave 94 points to 2009 Viña Tondonia Reserva (white). “…vines averaging 61 years of age, shows ripe and has more evolved aromas with honeyed notes, caramel, Earl Grey tea and a volatile whiff like it’s more advanced. The palate feels more complete, with the textbook pungent flavors of fungus, diesel and we chalk, and it’s lighter than what I expected for a warm and dry year. This matured in well-seasoned, neutral American oak barrels for six years.”
-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. "