The Gran Reserva's from Lopez de Heredia are only made in exceptional years, meaning 2001 is the next release after 1995. This is the pinnacle of what this iconic winery is capable of, and will still continue to age gracefully for another 30 years. Still remarkably young and vibrant, the bright fruit melds with sweet spice, tobacco, and balsamic notes. A beautiful, region-defining wine.
The 2001 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva is the follow-up of the 1995. There is a sense of harmony and elegance, of nuance and subtleness that wasn't quite the same in the Bosconia, as comparing both wines is inevitable. They started picking the red grapes the 15th of October, and the last grapes were picked the 29th of October with good weather. The grapes ripened properly and thoroughly, and the wine has great balance for a long aging in bottle. This is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo that fermented in their 153-year-old oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in used barrels for 10 years. It has 13% alcohol, a pH of 3.4 and 6.4 grams of acidity (tartaric). The nose shows young (tasting it blind, you'd guess a 10-year old wine, not a 20-year-old wine!). It has a nose of sweet spices, underbrush and cigar ash, somewhat balsamic, bramble fruit with perfect ripeness, integrated and young but starting to show some tertiary complexity. The palate is velvety and medium-bodied, with fine-grained, chalky tannins denoting a limestone soil that brings finesse and texture and a sapid, tasty, almost salty finish. This is going to make a beautiful bottle of old Rioja in 30 years' time!
Drink: 2021 - 2040
For 145 years, López de Heredia has remained one of Rioja's most important, and sought-after producers. They own all 170 hectares of the vines they farm, some up to 100 years in age, and have been working without chemical intervention for generations. The sustainability practices being prioritised today by younger producers have been the bedrock of López de Heredia's production from day one.
Perhaps the most unique quality of these wines, which is also key to their great demand, is how long they're aged before release. For context, the legal requirement for a Gran Reserva Rioja is for it to be aged for at least two years in barrel and two years in bottle (four years total as a minimum). López de Heredia release their Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Rioja after twenty years. Hence the 2001 vintage we are offering here, is in fact their latest Gran Reserva release and the first since 1996. It is a very special experience to enjoy these wines, which are bottled history in themselves.
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