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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% 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:

-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."

-Dr. Owen Bargreen, Sept '22 gave 95 points to 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). “The 2010 R. López de Heredia ‘Vina Tondonia’ Reserva is a stunning blend of 7-% Tempranillo with 20% Garnacho, 10% Graciano and 10% Mazuelo. Sourced from these famed clay and limestone soils, the wine was stored for six years in handmade 225L American oak vessels, and then for four years in the bottle prior to being released in March 2022. The stunning aromas bring you back to the glass, as toasty oak and and worn leather notes combine with tart Bing cherry and citrus blossom with loamy soils. The soft texture entices, as this shows brilliant underly finesse and copious minerals on the palate. Finishing long, with good concentration, this is a beautiful 2010 Rioja that has only started its long journey in the cellar.”

-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.” 

-Wine Spectator, Aug '22 gave 93 points to 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). This elegant red is fine and creamy on the palate, with notes of sun-dried cherry, iron, spiced orange peel, graphite and mocha that slowly unfurl. A bit high-toned on the nose as well as loaded with mineral aromas. Muscular tannins are deftly integrated, while savory dried mint and eucalyptus notes play on the lasting finish. Tempranillo, Garnacho, Graciano and Mazuelo.”