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:
-Dr. Owen Bargreen, Oct '21 gave 95 points to 2009 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “This warm vintage Rioja Reserva aged for six months in 225L American oak barrels and then aged a further four years in the barrel before bottling. A blend of 75% Tempranillo with the remainder Garnacho, Graciano and Mazuelo, this shows a gorgeous bouquet of toasty oak alongside orange zest, cinnamon dusted brioche and cran-pomegrante with tobacco leaf. The palate is seamless and soft with a silky texture. The combination of weight and finesse is marvelously amalgamated as bright red fruits collide with citrus zest, toasty oak and shades of tiled soils with stony and salty undertones on the palate. Complex and delicious to enjoy right now, this sensational ‘Reserva’ will be known as one of the great wines made this vintage.”
-James Suckling, Sept '21 gave 97 points to 2009 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “Sweet berries, cherries, cedar and dried flowers on the nose. Some lemon and lime zest, too! Medium-to full-bodied with tight, integrated tannins that show wonderful length and reserve. So fresh and vivid. Lots of energy. A wonderful, classic wine.”
-Vinous Media, Apr '21 gave 94 points to 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). "Dark, bright-rimmed garnet. An expressive bouquet displays red and black currant, dried cherry, cigar box, vanilla, rose oil and cured tobacco scents plus a baking spice topnote. Appealingly sweet and energetic red and dark berry, floral pastille and chewing tobacco flavors show tight focus and spicy cut. Candied rose and vanilla notes linger on the long, lively finish, which is framed by smooth, well-judged tannins.”