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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:

-The Wine Advocate, Oct '20 - 98 points -  “The nose shows young (tasting blind, you’d guess a 10-year old wine, not a 20-year-old wine!).  It has a nose of sweet spices, underbrush and cigar ash, somewhat balsamic, bramble fruit with perfect ripeness, integrated and young but starting to show some tertiary complexity.  The palate is velvety and medium-bodies, with fine-grained, chalky tannins denoting limestone soil that brings finesse and texture and a sapid, tasty, almost salty finish.”  

-James Suckling, “The Alluring Freshness of Spain”, July ’17 - 96 points - “…sweet tobacco, orange zest, and hints of balsamic with dried fruits on the nose. Full body, soft, silky, and fruity combination that gives such pleasure…”