R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, Viña Tondonia Red 2011 Reserva, DOCa Rioja, Spain

Viña Tondonia is a beautiful vineyard of over 100 hectares, situated on the right bank of the River Ebro, where the most typical Rioja wines are grown. The Tondonia vineyard, of López de Heredia is the most spectacular in Haro. Situated in a shell-like depression next to the River Ebro, it is characterized by poplar trees. The soils are alluvial clay with a high proportion of limestone. The winemaking process has been passed on from generation to generation, and the daily tasks are rooted in tradition, yet based on deep belief in the validity and modernity of the methods. Grapes are destemmed before going to the fermentation vats. Red wine fermentation occurs while the liquid is in contact with the skins, which contain the colorant. The must is fermented in 240 hectolitre oak vats. During fermentation, carbon anhydride is emitted as the sugars are transformed into alcohol. Although the temperature never exceeds 36ºC, bubbles disturb the surface of the vat as if it was boiling – hence the popular term of “tumultuous fermentation”. The tumultuous fermentation usually lasts about seven days, during which time the must becomes wine. However it maintains a certain percentage of residual sugar which has to be removed in a slower subsequent fermentation. Before initiating the second fermentation, the wine is drained from the vat in order to separate solids from liquids. This second fermentation takes place in Bordeaux-type oak barrels, and can take up to five or six months. The result is a softer, more perfect wine. Barrel aged 6 years, being racked twice per year and fined with fresh egg whites. 2011 vintage – Tempranillo (70%), Garnacho (20%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%). Color: Vibrant red leading slightly towards amber. Nose: Light fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. Taste: Rich, very dry, smooth, developed. Firm tannins and good balance.