Founded in 1877 by Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta, R. Lopez de Heredia is the oldest bodega in Haro and one of the first three established in all of Rioja. Its origins date back to the mid nineteenth century when French négociants visited Rioja searching for alternative sources of quality grapes since the Phylloxera epidemic had wiped out the majority of France’s vineyards. Don Rafael followed closely in their travels and in the process developed an affinity for the Rioja Alta region. The R. Lopez de Heredia vineyards extend over 425 acres encompassing the Tondonia, Cubillo, Bosconia and Gravonia vineyards. R. Lopez de Heredia wines are produced using typical Rioja grape varieties including Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo for red wines, and Viura and Malvasía for whites. Our R. Lopez de Heredia ratings indicate the Gran Reserva wines from Viña Tondonia, which are produced only during the truly exceptional vintages, tend to be the most revered selections in their portfolio. To learn more about this historic bodega check out our R. Lopez de Heredia reviews below.
Wild flowers, fresh herbs and tobacco aromas add a classic touch to the bouquet, and in the mouth it’s alert, with juicy acidity propping up raspberry fruit and oak-based vanilla. Some might call it tangy but there’s body and depth to this unfiltered, natural-yeast wine, which can be drunk now but should probably be held for another decade or so. Best from 2014–2019.— M.S. (11/1/2009)
Not old by Tondonia standards, in fact it’s a new release. Yet it’s already orange and rusty in color, with aromas of citrus peel, crushed spice and subdued berry. The palate is lean, with sharp acidity (the key to this wine’s longevity). Lots of pulse and zip on the finish. Spent five years in barrel.— M.S. (9/1/2004)
Typically brick-colored and oxidized, which leads to the idea that it’s 25 years old already. Unique in every way: The nose is like deconstructed citrus, sherry and leather, while the palate will seem sour if compared to most other reds and zesty if you’re coming off a white wine. Hard to describe; a wine for some to admire and others to say, “What the hell?”— M.S. (11/1/2006)
Typically amber in color, with aromas of dried cherries merging into apricots. Tangy and sharp on the palate, as is standard. Neither fruity nor deep, even according to Tondonia’s track record. Newcomers may not be impressed.— M.S. (6/1/2005)
López de Heredia is known for classic, lightweight Riojas, and this wine fits that bill. The color is rusty, the nose raisiny and sherried. Plenty of leather and puckery acidity keep it lively, but there isn’t much fruit beyond pie cherry and rhubarb. Very stylistic and not for everyone, but if you like the Old-World mode, here it is, front and center.— M.S. (3/1/2004)
Part of you will be complexed by this unique-for-the-sake-of-unique oak-aged "rosé" while the rest of you, the less generous part, will want to pour it down the drain. It's oxidized, loaded with resiny wood, and tastes as much like sherried orange juice as fine wine. Yet on the other hand, it has apricot and almondy flavors and pulsing acidity that make you give it…— M.S. (7/1/2007)
The poster-boy wine for old Rioja is indeed tasting and acting old, even more so than its eight years. It’s orange in color, with nothing but acidity on the palate. The best part is the intriguing nose, which offers vanilla, citrus peel and saddle leather. Unfortunately, there’s nothing left of this wine’s body. It’s emaciated.— M.S. (9/1/2004)