Daily Wine 5/31/17:
R. López de Heredia – “Viña Tondonia” – Gran Reserva – Rioja – 1994
- R. Lopez de Heredia produces some of the most traditional, ageworthy and sought-after wines of Rioja, Spain.
- This is a red blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo (Carignan).
- The Tondonia vineyard is over 100 hectares and sits at from 438 to 489 meters in elevation. Rafael López de Heredia and Landeta founded the vineyard between 1913 and 1914, which has today become their best product. White and red wines of various lengths of aging are produced here. The vineyard sits alongside the Ebro river and diversifies the soils and regulates temperature.
- Spain has the world’s most extensive aging requirements. Gran Reserva on a red wine indicates that the wine has aged for a minimum of 24 months in oak and 36 months in the bottle. Most producers, including R. Lopez de Heredia, will age for longer than the five-year minimum.
- Traditionally the Spaniards use American oak for aging their wines. Simply an economical decision due to their history of transatlantic colonial trade. American oak commonly lends flavors of rich vanilla and dill to the wines.
- The wine region of Rioja has been known for producing great wines since the early 1100s.
- Tempranillo has 13 synonyms throughout the world. In Spain alone, the grape has ten different names depending on where it is grown.
- Tempranillo derives from the Spanish temprano, or “early”.