"The 2011 has that wonderful ‘Tondonia’ character of rich, red and black fruit mixed with leather and cured jamón. Even in the aromas, the freshness emanating from the wine is clear, complemented perfectly by musky, scented notes of pot pourri and incense.The palate is fine and fresh with a lovely core of redcurrant and raspberry fruit. As with many Tondonia vintages, this needs some air to relax properly, but the full concentration of the vintage is revealed before long. There is a gorgeous succulence to the weight of fruit on the palate, all offset by a fine line of citrus acidity running right through the core. The fine tannins still have noticeable grip and linger on the long, cherry-violet-chocolate finish which hums with a tangerine twist. This is vibrant, fresh and fine; a vintage to drink slightly earlier than the 2010 perhaps but one still with huge staying power that will hold for a long time yet. Drink 2024 (decanted) to 2048."
To step back inside the López de Heredia winery is to step back in time. Founded in 1877, and little changed since, López de Heredia might not be quite the oldest winery in Rioja, but they are certainly the most tradition bound and least changed. You read a lot of marketing fluff about ‘family winemaking tradition’, but at López de Heredia, it’s real. Maria José López de Heredia and her winemaker sister, Mercedes, couldn’t care less about wine fashions. They've been producing wines in the style their great grandfather did, where their wines slumber in their deep cellars for many years before release. The quest for perfection is of utmost importance, and no wine is released until it is ready.