Wine Advocate 96
"Following the appreciation of the 2007 vintage from Mara Jos Lpez de Heredia, the red 2007 Via Tondonia Reserva is showing great, revealing unusual finesse and elegance. The nose is a little reticent but nuanced and complex, a little shy rather than explosive. The palate is medium-bodied, and the tannins are very refined. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Via Tondonia Reserva of recent years. 200,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2015." ~ LG
Tim Atkin 96
"This wont be on the market for at least another year - they don't to rush things at Lpez de Heredia - but make sure you buy some when it is. Made from Tempranillo with 10 each of Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo, all from the Paraje de Tondonia close to Haro, it's a timeless classic, sustained by acidity and showing remarkable focus and precision with chalky notes and scented red berry fruit. 2020-30." ~ TA
James Suckling 95
"This wine spends six years in barrique (tradtionally it needed six winters to stabilize naturally), before racking into large casks and then bottling three years before the expected release. Attractive, dark earth and dried sage with a strong aroma of attractive, rich dried cherries, as well as blackberries and hints of cedar, cigar tobacco and fresh leather. The palate has a smooth array of fine but quite powerful tannin that builds seamlessly into the long, rich, dark cherry-flavored finish. Great wine! Drink or hold." ~ JS
Lopez De HerediaView all from Lopez De Heredia
Lopez de Heredia - one of the most venerable producers in Spain– produces traditional, age-worthy Rioja. Their wines are legendary and still made the way they were when the winery was founded over 130 years ago. Following a tradition that has been passed down through generations, their wines are released at least 5-10 years after harvest, which provides added complexity and elegance to their Crianzas and Gran Reservas.
A rarity in Rioja, Lopez de Heredia uses only estate bottled fruit from their prized vineyards- Tondonia, Cubillo, Bosconia, and Zaconia- with the idea that the only way to get the best fruit is to care for the vines themselves. The Tondonia vineyard is their most famous; over 100 hectares, it is situated in a shell-shaped depression on the right bank of the river Ebro, where the most typical Rioja wines are grown. The soil is alluvial clay with a high proportion of limestone. Average vine age is 45 years old and organic farming and natural fermentations are implemented, creating wines that exhibit great terroir. Grapes from Viña Tondonia are always used in making their highest quality wines, with truly exceptional vintages becoming Gran Reservas. The first Reserva was bottled by the founder in 1890; a few bottles of this are still kept in the family wine museum.
The winery itself is a remarkable structure. When D. Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta began building the bodega in the late 1800's, little did he realise that his masterpiece would one day be acknowledged as an example to the rest of the industry of the most perfect combination of buildings and vineyards. Like many medieval masterpieces it is still incomplete. The buildings stand below and above ground, and are a veritable "cathedral to wine". Moving through the vaulted underground corridors and staircases, you find yourself travelling back in time, and the founder's touch can still be sensed in the very stones and fabric of the building.