Lopez de Heredia
Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2004
If there is one winery which represents history and tradition – not just in Rioja, but arguably for the whole of Spain – then it is Bodega Lopez de Heredia.
Its founder Don Rafael fell in love with the region and especially with the mythical area around the hilltop town of Haro. He recognised that there was a magical combination of soil and climate which would offer the perfect environment for producing a wine that would eventually become world famous. In 1877 he began the design and construction of what is today known as Bodega López de Heredia.
We visited the bodega last month and it was a very special experience indeed. The fermentation takes place in vast, impressive vats which are up to 140 years old. Beneath the winery is a complex network of underground galleries; hundreds of metres of slowly maturing, home-made barrels filled with ethereal liquid are kept for years before release. They take things to such a distinct level that their Reservas are aged for considerably longer than the minimal legal requirement for Gran Reservas – rather than 18 months + 5 years, they spend 5-6 years in barrel, then the same in bottle.
As Luis Gutierrez stated, “the quality gap between the Reserva and Gran Reserva has been getting smaller since the 2001 vintage”.
- Sold Out!
Tasting Notes and Scores
The 2004 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a completely different story. It is a worthy follower of the 2001, the greatest of the Viña Tondonia Reservas of recent times. It has the usual blend and usual levels of alcohol and acidity, bottled after six years in oak barrels. The nose feels savory (if that's possible–umami?) and developed, with tertiary aromas and good balance between spices, leathery notes, cherries and balsamic notes of cigar box and incense. The palate is both round and crisp, with refined tannins. It has very good balance with subtle acidity and very good persistence.
94 points – Luis Gutierrez (eRobertParker.com, April 2015)
Savory flavors of tea, mushroom and leather frame dried cherry and orange peel notes in this traditional-style red. Features a smooth, polished texture, with light tannins and bright acidity. Harmonious and graceful. Drink now through 2020. 21,666 cases made. - winespectator.com, September 2016