Lopez De Heredia are one of the top traditional Rioja producers. Established in 1877 in Haro they have one of the legendary vineyards in Rioja, Tondonia. Based on the alluvial slopes of the River Ebro, the vineyards are on the edge of the Rioja Alta and Alavesa sub-Regions. Tondonia is their largest vineyards totalling 70 hectares. Their other three vineyards are Cubillo, Bosconia and Gravonia; each with distinctive terroir and aspect and differing styles of wine. They make some of the finest white Rioja from both the Tondonia vineyards and Gravonia, which demand for now far outstrips demand.
This case comprise of: 6 x Tondonia Reserva Tinto 2006, 3 x Tondonia Reserva Blanco 2005 and 3 x Gravonia Crianza Blanco 2009.
Tondonia Reserva Tinto 2006 – £32
The 2006 vintage was rated ‘very good’ by the Rioja DOC board. Their Reserva is made from a blend of Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%). The wine is matured for 6 years in barrels before bottling in 2014. The wine was released in 2018. The nose exhibits the classic characteristics of sweet strawberries and leather, yet it is bright, perfumed and vibrant at the same time. It has wonderful complexity with supremely integrated hints of vanilla. The palate shows a lovely freshness with fine acidity and tart raspberry fruit. The tannins are fine, yet there is structure here, all supported by gentle, supremely integrated oak. It has a superb long finish.
Gravonia Crianza 2009 – £24
The Gravonia come from their Viña Zaconia vineyard, named after a local term for the area. The vineyard is 200 metres from the bodega and close to the banks of the river Ebro. Viña Zaconia has an altitude of 340 m, and the average age of vines is 45 years. The south-facing slopes are poor and stony, and roots are forced to go deep – hence grapes have balanced biological composition and ripen with complex flavours. Viña Gravonia covers 24 ha, all of which are under Viura vines. This crianza is aged for 4 years in barrel and 4 years in bottle before release. A rich complex white, with notes of herbs and quince. The nuttiness on the palate is balanced by fresh acidity and complemented by jasmine.
Tondonia Reserva Blanco Reserva 2005 – £32.95
This iconic white is made from a blend of 90% Viura and 10% Malvasia. The wine is aged for 6 years in barrel before aged in bottle at winery before release in 2018. An extremely complex wine with spicy, nutty and herbal notes due to the extended oak ageing. It can be aged further, but is very enjoyable now, the wine requires a decant to show its full potential.