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% Graciano, and Mazuelo.
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: 6 years in 225L American oak barrels handmade by the López de Heredia coopers, racked twice per year and at least 4 years spent in bottle before release.
Nose: Rich nose of leather, black cherry, dried raspberries and spices.
Taste: Full palate and complex development, very dry, well balanced with firm tannins.
Gastronomy: All types of meats and grilled fish, leg of lamb stuffed with rosemary and garlic, cured meats, anchovies and fatty fish.
Color: A darker, vivacious, deep garnet.
Talking About the Wines:
-Washington Wine Blog, Aug ‘20 gave 95 points to 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). "Lopez Heredia ‘Vina Tondonia Reserva’ Rioja is a marvelous effort from this challenging vintage in La Rioja. The wine is a complex blend of Tempranillo (75%), and Garnacho (15%), with Graciano and Mazuelo (5%) that was aged for six years before bottling. The wine is might be showing a bit more depth and concentration than the ’07 bottling while the ’07 is slightly more geared towards finesse. Deep white truffle and wild blackberry notes combine with shades of cinnamon, orange rind and sour kirsch on this gorgeous bouquet. The palate is wonderfully viscous and concentrated. Layers of sour red and ark fruits collide with minerals, smoky terroir and shades of blood orange zest and peat moss on this simply gorgeous palate. Rich and layered, yet having a sterling sense of tension, this magical new wine will cellar well for at least another fifteen years. Drink 2020-2038"
-Washington Wine Blog, Aug ‘20 gave 95 points to 2007 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). "The R. Lopez Heredia ‘Vina Tondonia Reserva’ Rioja was sourced from what was generally a challenging, low-yielding vintage in Rioja, that was somehow rated ‘very good.’ The wine is a gorgeous blend of Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%) that was aged for six years before bottling. Needing an hour in the decanter to fully evolve, the ‘Vina Tondonia Reserva’ shows pretty red cherry cordial and wild blackberry tones that are woven together with dark licorice, pencil shavings and suggestions of wild mushroom that all take shape in the glass. The palate is round and generous, showing really good range from menthol to black cherry compote, Umami and suggestions of red bell pepper with Mandarin orange rind undertones that sing in unison. The freshness and verve of the wine that combine with the weight seriously impresses. Every bit outstanding, this is amongst the best of the vintage. Drink 2020-2038."
-A View From The Cellar, March ‘20 gave 92 points to 2007 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “The 2007 Viña Tondonia Rioja “Reserva” from López de Heredia is the newest release of this bottling into the market- one has to love a winery that gives a wine twelve years’ aging in the cellars prior to letting it out to slake a thirsty world! The 2007 Viña Tondonia “Reserva” is still emphatically a young wine, despite it being thirteen years of age now, and though it is very tasty, it is still in climbing mode and will be even better with more bottle age. The wine comes in at a classic thirteen percent octane and offers up a lovely bouquet of raspberries, cherries, cigar wrapper, lovely soil tones, adolescent Rioja spices tones, coconutty American oak and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, tangy and still modestly tannic, with a good core, lovely structure and focus and a long, nascently complex and very well-balanced finish. This is quite tasty in its relative youth, but will be even better five or ten years down the road. Fine juice.”
-Wine & Spirits, Dec ’19 gave 94 points to 2007 Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia. “Viña Tondonia is a collection of parcels centered on a rise above the Ebro River, where it forms a wide loop outside of Haro. The López de Heredia family farms these parcels as bush vines, blending their fruit into long-lived, vineyard-designated wines. This vintage, including 70 percent tempranillo and 20 percent garnacha with a little Graciano and mazuelo, is a lovely, elegant Rioja in a classical mode. There is something magical about well-aged Rioja, and there is often something magical about Viña Tondonia, suggest by this wine’ gentle, lasting touch of bright, sunny cherry notes and deep earth tones, the flavors delicately saturated. Get some.”