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R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2003

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • JS95
  • WS91
  • RP90
12.5% ABV
  • RP95
  • JS94
  • D96
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • W&S90
  • RP94
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WS92
  • RP91
  • W&S90
  • JS95
  • RP95
  • W&S93
  • WS90
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Try the 2005 Vintage 42 99
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4.7 6 Ratings
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4.7 6 Ratings
12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Vibrant red leading slightly towards amber in the glass. The bouquet has a light fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. Rich, very dry, smooth, developed. Firm tannins and good balance.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Ripe aromas of dried fruits, plums and prunes. Flowers too. Full body, round and ripe textured tannins. Intense and powerful fruit. Layered. Powerful style. Very long. Richer than normal due to the the hot growing seasons of 2003. Aged for six years in old American oak barrels. Drink or hold.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Cigar box, cedar and balsamic notes frame cherry, raisin and licorice flavors in this lean, firm red. Displays grip and focus, with firm tannins and orange peel acidity. The spicy finish is fresh and long. A traditional style. Drink now through 2023.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The wine has a canonical 12.5% alcohol and 6.5 grams of acidity. It matured in (used) barrels for six years and was bottled unfiltered. Even if they want to avoid the imprint from the vintage, it's impossible to erase the effect of the torrid 2003. The wine is less Tondonia than the 2004, and the fruit is more obvious and forward. The palate is fuller than your average vintage, juicy and ripe. An approachable Tondonia Reserva to drink on the younger side.
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R. Lopez de Heredia

R. Lopez de Heredia

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R. Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Spain
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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).

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.

White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

In the Glass

Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.

RAE420603_2003 Item# 145304