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:
-Wine & Spirits, Dec '20 gave 91 points to 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). "This is a lean and fragrant vintage of Viña Tondonia, the López de Heredia family’s prime Rioja Alta vineyard above a meander along the Ebro River. In 2008, the wine is gamey up front, with sour cherry flavors and a delicate, lasting richness. The wine defines Rioja’s traditional elegance."
-A View From the Cellar, Nov - Dec '20 gave 93+ points to 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “The 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva is an absolute classic in the making. At age twelve the wine is still a puppy, and though very, very easy to drink now, it has still not developed any of its secondary layers of complexity that will arrive with further bottle age. The supremely refined nose delivers scents of black cherries, black raspberries, cigar smoke, a lovely array of Rioja spice tones, a touch of meatiness, a complex base of soil and a lovely foundation of oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with lovely soil signature and grip, suave, fine-grained tannins and a long, complex and tangy finish."
-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"