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Tondonia blanco y amigos

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EN

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Boris Buliga

Four vintages of Tondonia Blanco Report and their friends. There is no room for reds!


some random image you can find on barberry garden
Photo by Anna Zinchuk

So, it turns out that only recently have I started to appreciate red Tondonia. I'm not sure if it's just my taste evolving or if I've been luckier with picking bottles and vintages. But the one thing I know for sure is that the white wines from R. López de Heredia have a special place in my heart. So when I realized that our tasting was going to be so packed with white wines that there was simply no room left for reds, I wasn't too disappointed.

Thanks to Julie and Maksym, we managed to assemble a unique lineup - 4 vintages of Tondonia Blanco Reserva and their pals. And who gets to be pals with such fabulous wines? Naturally, their "younger brother" - Gravonia Crianza, and the Tondonia Rosado Gran Reserva. For a bit of fun and comparison, we threw in a bottle of Chivite, just to see how it stacked up against another rosé, but everything else you see on the list is just our desire to keep the party going.

I'm hugely grateful to all the participants for a magical and unique evening. As Vitalii said, there are various combinations of convives and wines, but with you folks, even average wines are a delight to drink, let alone such cool and rare finds. I also want to thank Julie for her help in gathering the bottles. A big thank you to Maksym for leading the tasting, for the stories and for answering all the questions we bombarded you with. And thanks to Sabotage for providing such a fantastic venue for our tastings, and to the Mirali restaurant for the delicious accompaniments.

WinePlace
wavg
sdev
fav
price
QPR
🏅 9th0
1,142 UAH
🏅 7th4.22930.02991
1,450 UAH
2.3515
🏅 6th4.27470.02771
1,450 UAH
2.5238
🏅 4th4.35200.00330
2,010 UAH
2.0562
🏅 4th4.35200.01140
1,850 UAH
2.2340
🥈 2nd4.40000.02696
2,010 UAH
2.2188
🥇 1st4.42930.00842
2,010 UAH
2.3251
🏅 8th4.12270.00780
1,576 UAH
1.8349
🏅 5th4.33730.03681
2,010 UAH
2.0091
🥉 3rd4.37800.01560
3,206 UAH
1.3434
🏅 9th0
3,700 UAH

A few words about R. López de Heredia

We are in Haro, the mythical capital of the Rioja Alta region. Its ascension to a prestigious winemaking region was ignited by phylloxera. A curious insect, brought by accident from North America to Europe, devasted vineyards across the continent. The Great French Wine Blight drove many winemakers to alternative regions. The French settled in Rioja because they found potential there.

Rioja, like many other regions, has seen its ups and downs, reflecting Spain's history. Though, having potential is not enough. The wine doesn't make itself. Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta was an enthusiastic student when French negociants visited Rioja in search of alternative grape sources. He followed their footsteps and fell in love with Haro as he saw potential in the combination of soil and climate. Around 1877 he began the design and construction of the complex, known today as the López de Heredia bodega, the oldest in Haro and one of the first three houses in the Rioja region.

López de Heredia is famous for being true to their heritage and house style. Unprecedented old-school wine, a time machine trapped in a bottle. Today, María José López de Heredia runs the bodega. She says "tradition" doesn't mean immobility or opposition to change. The world and nature follow their own rhythm. So they need to be flexible while maintaining eternal principles and criteria.

López de Heredia produces wines in four ranges - Viña Tondonia, Viña Bosconia, Viña Cubillo and Viña Gravonia.

Vins Nus inStabile Pét Nat 2021

Type
white sparkling, brut-nature
Region
Vino de Mesa, Spain
Producer
Vins Nus
Vintage
2021
Grapes
Grenache Gris, Grenache blanc
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
4
Price
1142 UAH
Vins Nus inStabile Pét Nat 2021

This wine secured the 🏅 9th place in our wine tasting lineup.

Just a welcome drink to wake up our senses.

Viña Gravonia

Viña Gravonia consists of only one wine - a white Crianza. It is 100% Viura from 24 ha in the Gravonia (Zaconia) vineyard near the banks of the river Ebro. This vineyard ticks every conceivable box to produce white grapes which achieve ripeness and intricate character. It is further enhanced by four years in a cask and at least the same again resting in a bottle before release.

R. López de Heredia Viña Gravonia Blanco Crianza 2015

Type
white still, dry
Region
Rioja DOC, Spain
Vintage
2015
Grapes
Viura
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
2.5
Price
1450 UAH
R. López de Heredia Viña Gravonia Blanco Crianza 2015

This wine secured the 🏅 7th place in our wine tasting lineup.

R. López de Heredia Viña Gravonia Blanco Crianza 2014

Type
white still, dry
Region
Rioja DOC, Spain
Vintage
2014
Grapes
Viura
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
2.5
Price
1450 UAH
R. López de Heredia Viña Gravonia Blanco Crianza 2014

This wine secured the 🏅 6th place in our wine tasting lineup.

Viña Tondonia Blanco

Viña Tondonia is the most famous and largest set of vineyards of López de Heredia. It's made up of 100 ha of red and white grapes. Five wines are produced: Tinto Reserva, Tinto Gran Reserva, Blanco Reserva, Blanco Gran Reserva and Rosado Gran Reserva.

Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva is a Viura-based blend with only 10% of Malvasia - a rather rare grape in Rioja as it represents only 0.23% of Denomination's total cultivated area. The Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva spends six years in oak. After bottling, the wine spends up to four years in a bottle to acquire a certain smoothness and a range of aromatic nuances.

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2012

Type
white still, dry
Region
Rioja DOC, Spain
Vintage
2012
Grapes
Viura, Malvasia Bianca
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
2.5
Price
2010 UAH
R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2012

This wine secured the 🏅 4th place in our wine tasting lineup.

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2011

Type
white still, dry
Region
Rioja DOC, Spain
Vintage
2011
Grapes
Viura, Malvasia Bianca
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
unknown
Price
2010 UAH
R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2011

This wine secured the 🏅 4th place in our wine tasting lineup.

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2009

Type
white still, dry
Region
Rioja DOC, Spain
Vintage
2009
Grapes
Viura, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
2.5
Price
2010 UAH (?)
R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2009

This wine secured the 🥈 2nd place in our wine tasting lineup.

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2006

Type
white still, dry
Region
Rioja DOC, Spain
Vintage
2006
Grapes
Viura, Malvasia Bianca
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
unknown
Price
2010 UAH (?)
R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2006

This wine secured the 🥇 1st place in our wine tasting lineup.

Chivite Coleccion 125 Rosado 2007

Type
rose still, dry
Region
Navarra DO, Spain
Producer
Chivite
Vintage
2007
Grapes
Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol
13.5
Sugar
2.1
Price
1576 UAH
Chivite Coleccion 125 Rosado 2007

This wine secured the 🏅 8th place in our wine tasting lineup.

Colección 125 Rosado is a barrel-fermented rosé for cellar ageing. It comes from a selection of plots of Garnacha and Tempranillo (it seems that older vintages used Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) from the Legardeta Estate.

The grapes are harvested by hand and placed into 200-kg crates. The idea is to get them intact to the winery for sorting. After a short maceration in vats, the must is bled using the traditional saignée method to obtain the best quality free run must. The juice is transferred into 225-litre French oak barrels, where it ferments and ages on its lees for 9 to 12 months.

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosado Gran Reserva 2012

Type
rose still, dry
Region
Rioja DOC, Spain
Vintage
2012
Grapes
Tempranillo, Garnacha, Viura
Alcohol
12.5
Sugar
2.5
Price
2010 UAH
R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosado Gran Reserva 2012

This wine secured the 🏅 5th place in our wine tasting lineup.

Viña Tondonia Rosado is a blend of Garnacha (60%), Tempranillo (30%), and Viura (10%). It matured in American oak barrels for four years before being bottled. Then it spent a few years in the winery before its release. And 2012 is the most recent one. In total, López de Heredia produced 15,000 bottles.

Marco De Bartoli Bukkuram Padre della Vigna 2019

Type
white still, sweet
Region
Pantelleria DOC, Italy
Vintage
2019
Grapes
Zibibbo
Alcohol
14.5
Sugar
156
Price
3206 UAH
Marco De Bartoli Bukkuram Padre della Vigna 2019

This wine secured the 🥉 3rd place in our wine tasting lineup.

R. Pouillon Grande Vallée (d2022) NV

Type
white sparkling, extra-brut
Region
Champagne AOC, France
Producer
R. Pouillon
Vintage
NV
Disgorged
N/A
On lees
18-24 months
Grapes
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Meunier
Alcohol
12
Sugar
2
Price
3700 UAH
R. Pouillon Grande Vallée (d2022) NV

This wine secured the 🏅 9th place in our wine tasting lineup.

Raw scores

WineMax DElvira KJulie BVitalii MDmytro KhOleksandr RDaria BViktoriya ZhAnna ZBoris BAndrii S
4.204.204.204.204.804.304.204.404.204.204.30
4.354.204.254.304.804.204.204.204.304.304.20
4.404.304.354.304.304.204.404.304.304.404.30
4.404.304.404.304.504.104.404.204.304.404.40
4.304.404.604.504.204.104.604.504.604.304.50
4.504.304.504.404.404.254.504.304.404.504.30
4.004.304.204.204.004.204.104.204.104.104.10
4.454.404.303.904.204.204.304.403.904.504.20
4.204.304.304.204.504.50