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. There are 4 varieties of red grapes planted in this vineyard: Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano, and Garnacho.
Region/Sub-Region: Spain, Rioja, Rioja Alta.
Grapes: 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho, 10% Mazuelo, and Graciano.
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: Hoppers de-stem bunches and gently break skins. Spontaneous fermentation in large 25,000L vats.
Aging: 10 years in 225L American oak barrels, handmade by the López de Heredia coopers, racked twice per and at least 9 years spent in bottle before release.
Nose: Delicate fragrance, complex and developed. Leather and cured meats, cherries, dried apple skins.
Taste: On the palate the wine retains its vitality as if it wanted to conceal its true age. Freshness of the wine showing the acidity, full tannins.
Gastronomy: Excellent with any grilled meats, Iberíco Ham, octopus, paprika and smoked spice, hard cheeses.
Color: Vibrant red and sparkling ruby leading slightly towards amber.
Talking About the Wines:
-James Suckling, “The Alluring Freshness of Spain”, July ’17 gave 96 points to 1995 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. “Sweet tobacco, orange zest, and hints of balsamic with dried fruits on the nose. Full body, soft, and silky with a tangy, and fruity combination that gives such pleasure. Very balanced and refined. Aged ten years in cask…”
-eRobertParker.com, The Wine Advocate, April '15 gave 97 points to 1995 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. "This light-colored, ethereal 1995 is the essence of Viña Tondonia. It has developed aromas and complexity gained with time in bottle of incense, leather, cured meat, cherries in liqueur, cold bonfire, and spices. The palate is super-tasty, with fully resolved tannins and very good acidity. The texture is super-fine, sophisticated, and ethereal with gob-smacking balance. Intense, powerful, and elegant, too."