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:

-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.”

-Washington Wine Blog, Feb '21 gave 95 points to 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva (red). "The 2008 R. López de Heredia ‘Viña Tondonia’ Reserva is a spectacular effort in a difficult growing season that saw ideal weather at harvest. Aged for six years in handmade 225L American oak vessels, this saw a further four years of bottle age prior to release. The aromatic range here is quite impressive, from toasty oak and cranberry to peat moss, pipe tobacco, leather and pomegranate seed with red floral undertones that all meld in the glass. The silky texture offers and air of elegance. Pine needles and a rich core of red fruits collide with minerals, orange zest and salty undertones on the palate. The balance here and long finish add to the enjoyment. Spectacular now at the thirteen year mark, the 2008 R. López de Heredia ‘Viña Tondonia’ Reserva Rioja will provide drinking enjoyment for several more decades to come."

-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."