Lopez de Heredia, Viña Tondonia, Rioja Reserva 2011


Small allocation just in!

This monumental Rioja is made in a very traditional style, using large American oak barrels, lengthy ageing far in excess of the legal minimum, very old vines and absolutely no modern wine-making techniques. This is a close to the original wine style as you will ever get to the original that made Rioja's name in the first place.

Rich red and black fruit with fine-grained tannins, decorated by countless exotic nuances as well as earthy, meaty notes of jamon and nutmeg, while leaving space for subtle vanilla and red fruit freshness. It is utterly sensational.

One of the best wines in Rioja?

Very possibly, certainly if you're looking for the best of a traditional style. Tondonia has become synonymous with top-level winemaking that adheres to the best traditions in Rioja; but the respect that there is for it means that you can take the 'Tondonia' word and use it to describe any stellar wine that is made with a traditional outlook and achieves stratospheric levels of quality, leaving wine in the winery until it is ready to be consumed.

The 2011 is a broader, more structured and slightly more powerful vintage than the classic-styled 2010, but this is in relation to Tondonia, which is always elegant and refined, keeping balance in every bottle. The warmth of the vintage certainly only server to give, rather than detract from the wine in any way. Only 270000 bottles were made - we feel lucky to have what we have.

This is flawless winemaking; from a winery that has made the purest art form from the best parts of the best traditions, this is part an act of generosity and part a statement that "great" never goes out of fashion.

The same will be said of all wines made under the name of Rafael Lopez de Heredia and rightly so, as the name sits on some of the most astonishingly profound, complex, elegant and balanced wines to be the end product of a bunch of grapes.

It's true, part of the majesty is the age of the wines when they get released (this is a youthful 2011) and there is something brilliant about the Crianza bottling often qualifying as Gran Reserva, yet only being deemed as a representative of the Crianza style by the winery. But other wineries age wines very well, too, which means that there must be something else about which this winery is able to boast.

The winery is 140 years old and the philosophy of the best traditions is still to the fore. It seems that one element of tradition that is not a practice is patience; ageing wine for lengthy periods ties up cash and can be risky given market trends and customer preferences, yet here there has been no wavering as they have diligently stuck to their guns and give us these sensational wines, vintage after vintage.

94 Points, Robert Parker

Region: Rioja Alta

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano, Garnacha

Style: Svelte, Soft, Smooth, Silky, Pure, Profound, Perfumed, Organic, Medium Bodied, Meditation, Iconic, Fruity, Fresh, Elegant, Complex, Bright, Balanced

Best food matches: Wild Boar, Warm Salads, Venison, Veal, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Sausages, Salads, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Beef

Alcohol: 13.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

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Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.