R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva (375ML half-bottles) 2001
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Vibrant red color leading slightly towards amber. It has a light fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. Rich, very dry, smooth, developed. Firm tannins and good balance. Goes well with all meat dishes however prepared.
A perfect partner to a Leg of New Season Welsh Lamb stuffed with wild garlic, rosemary and anchovies.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2001 Vina Tondonia Reserva is bridled with a lovely nose of decayed red fruit, fireside hearth, a touch of mulberry and small red cherry. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, crisp red fruits (wild strawberry and cranberry) with a sharp, vibrant, tense, tannic finish that has immense precision. There is a slight saline note lingering in the mouth after the wine has (regretfully) departed."
Wine & Spirits - "Combine old vines, traditional winemaking and the stunning 2001 season—then wait nine years. What you end up with is a wine built in four dimensions, the power and density of fruit rounded by time, the graceful hand of the winemaker capturing the season in subtle scents of rose and cherry-skin tannin. Everything about the wine is gentle while remarkably long, set to develop for another nine years or more."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright medium red. Expansive bouquet of musky red and dark berries, medicinal cherry, rose oil and Asian spices. Juicy raspberry and rose pastille flavors are framed by silky tannins and given a boost by zesty minerality. Packs a solid punch but comes off almost weightless. The tannins fade into the sweet fruit on the finish, which is strikingly pure and very persistent. Lovely right now."
Wine Spectator - "This polished red delivers mature flavors of dried cherry, forest floor, tobacco and vanilla on a graceful frame. Fresh and lively."
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R. Lopez de Heredia Winery
It all started in the middle of the nineteenth century when French negociants visited the Rioja region to find alternative sources of quality grapes to transform into wine, since the phylloxera epidemic had decimated their vineyards. Our founder, Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic student in the art of wine making, followed closely in their footsteps.
Don Rafael fell in love with the region and especially the area around Haro, the mythical capital of the Rioja Alta region. He observed that there was a magical combination of soil and climate that would offer the perfect environment for producing wine that would eventually become world famous. Around 1877 he began the design and construction of the complex that is today known as the López de Heredia bodega (winery), the oldest in Haro and one of the first three houses in the Rioja region.
For over a century our emotions have been rooted in our love and passion for this land and its harvest. We cherish our heritage, and this combination of love and the rigorous quality standards we apply, have become our trademark and remains our maxim for today and the future.
Bodegas López de Heredia stands out as one of the few family-run bodegas regulated by the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja - DOC (Appellation region). View all R. Lopez de Heredia Wines
About RiojaView a map of Rioja wineries (ree-OH-hah) Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.
Notable FactsThe Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.
As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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1 rating, 1 with reviewanne pickett - San Leandro, CA54/14/2014
R. López de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia is the most famous of the traditional styled Riojas. This 2001 Reserva is a great, big wine that can age for a lifetime. I had the 1964 version of this wine a couple of years ago and thought, "Wow! This is a baby." The 2001 vintage is comparable to the great '64...ageworthy in in the half bottle.
- Earth & Spicy
- Pair With
- grilled lamb
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: