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. Their bodega in Barrio del Estacion in Haro is a living museum - cobwebbed Miss Havisham barrel rooms, black furry mold everywhere, little old men doing the same job that their father did decades before... this winery reeks of tradition.
Stylistically, it's all about how the endlessly complex secondary and tertiary notes meld with the fruit. This is a million miles away from the flashy, Lexus-driving modern Rioja, with its weaponised primary fruit and curds of sickly new oak. Alcohol volumes tend to be relatively low, whereas acidity is notably high. The textures are special. These wines have that paradoxical lightness and depth; surely in large part due to their very long ageing and gradual decanting from barrel to barrel each year.
FROM THE PRESS
“Serious and concentrated, at least by the standards of some López de Heredia reds, this reflects the heat of the 2009 vintage. Tempranillo-based with 30% Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo, it's spicy, savoury and high toned with grippy tannins, layers of tobacco and red fruits and classic, supporting acidity. 94 points”Tim Atkin
“The 2009 Viña Tondonia Reserva, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho and 5% each Mazuelo and Graciano, matured in used American oak barrels for six years. It has some toasted character, with ripe fruit, black rather than red, denoting a warm year but more restrained than the Bosconia Reserva from the same vintage. 2009 is a year of ripeness, concentration and tannin; the wines are powerful...”Luis Gutiérrez