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:
-A View from the Cellar, March '23 gave 92+ points to 2011 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “The 2011 Viña Tondonia “Reserva” from López de Heredia is a beautifully classical, complex and utterly refined young bottle of Rioja. The cépages this year is seventy percent Tempranillo, twenty percent Garnacha and five percent each of Graciano and Mazuelo. The wine tips the scales at an old school thirteen percent octane and offers up a pure and complex bouquet of raspberries, cherries, cloves, cigar smoke, brown spice tones, salty soil elements, American oak and an exotic topnote of dried eucalyptus. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and still fairly tightly-knit in personality, with a good core of red fruit, fine soil signature, buried tannins and a long, tangy and complex finish. Though this is approachable today with some extended decanting time, it is really still a young wine and I would be inclined to let it stretch its wings with another five or six years of cellaring.”
-Wine & Spirits Magazine, Feb '23 gave 93 points to 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “Fresh and generous, this leans into springtime in its scents of sap and pitch. With its red apple acidity and tight edge, it is mouthwatering, light and open. Undertones of dill and American oak are subtle, the dominant aspect being more tart red fruit—Methley plums, as panelist Amy Loveless described it, “a tart-skinned early red plum that melts in your mouth.” The age on the wine has taken it to delicate laciness, yet it keeps circling back to freshness.”
-Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Dec '22 gave 96 points to 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). "Garnet to the eye, this wine has a bouquet of blackberry, dark chocolate and herbes de Provence. It is smooth on entry, with flavors of pomegranate, cranberry, caramel, olive tapenade and Mediterranean herbs. Vigorous tannins land on the palate and are quickly washed away by bright acidity.”
-Food & Wine Magazine , Sept '22 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). "López de Heredia’s wines always have this dance between youth and age, this elegant tension. It’s like time travel if you visit the actual bodega: 140 years and they’ve never changed the way they make their wines."
-International Wine Report, Aug '22 gave 96 points to 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “The 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva may be the most impressive release I have yet to taste of this classic release from R. López de Heredia. It is always one of the best valued wines from anywhere in the world, and there is no exception in this vintage. The wine starts off with gorgeous aromas of dried cherries and plums which are laced with spices, leather, vanilla, cigar box, dried florals, wild herbs and orange zest nuances that all come together and emerge from the glass. This palate is medium-full and structured with beautifully polished tannins that give it a sense of elegance. It displays excellent overall balance with gorgeous fruit framed by lovely touch of acidity that provides a sense of freshness through the finish. This is already fantastic, however it should only continue to evolve over the next decade.”
-Wine Advocate, Aug '22 gave 96 points to 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “The 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva has all I expect from a Reserva from Tondonia, complexity, elegance and evolution, a developed nose with notes of forest floor and wild berries, herbs and flowers, a touch of iodine, brick dust and very fine, polished tannins. It has the seriousness and elegance of Tondonia. This is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name of the grape) and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo that fermented in the ancient oak vats from when the winery was created 144 years ago and matured in well-seasoned, American oak barrels for six years.”