Revisiting the Mind Blowing Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosato 2009…

I recently read an interesting tweet by my good buddy Dr Jamie Goode, one of the most well known global wine journalists writing daily on his http://www.wineanorak.com website. Never one to shy away from controversy, his tweet really did get me thinking.

Inspired by his comments, I thought I’d revisit probably one of the most authentic wines on the market that also happens to be one of the rarest new releases, the Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosato. I last tasted the 2009 vintage of this wine way back in June 2019 and also bought a couple of cases for myself. So with UK lockdown recently extended by a further three weeks, I thought it was time to crack one of these unicorns!

The controversial tweet…

The Lopez de Heredia portfolio extends over 170 hectares and four separate vineyard areas of which Tondonia is both the largest (70 Ha) and the most famous. The other three sites making up the estate are Cubillo, Bosconia and Gravonia, each with distinctive terroir characteristics, vineyard aspect and differing styles of wine. The Tondonia Rosato must surely be one of the rarest wines in their portfolio as it is aged for 10 years before release and is also not made every vintage.

Tasting the new Rosato 2009 release in June 2019 with Andrea Mullineux, Maria-Jose and husband Jose-Luis.

Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosato 2009, Rioja, 13 Abv.

What a mind blowing Rosato wine experience. A fabulously iconic wine that offers up the expectation of greatness… and then delivers it in bucket loads! The nose is jam packed with notes of dried ginger, saline orange peel zest, star anise, red liquorice and enticing crushed pomegranate nuances. On the palate, there are seductive notes of bitter blood orange citrus, dried tangerine peel, sweet vermouth botanical spices, white peach and oodles of wet stone liquid minerality. A truly sublime palate that is supremely taut, saline, concentrated and linear while simultaneously being super elegant, slightly tertiary but beautifully pure and focused. All in all, any one lucky enough to drink this wine will experience a profound, authentic Vina Tondonia expression shaped by this iconic winery’s unique philosophy and historical cultural heritage. An incredible wine!

(Wine Safari Score: 95+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

Unicorn Rose… the best of the best!

Summer’s Almost Here … Tasting the Kleinood Tamboerskloof Katharien Syrah Rose 2015, Stellenbosch, 13 Abv…

Cracking out the Rose trumpets the arrival of summer. For such an affordable category of wine style, these boutique dry wines deliver a disproportionate amount of joie de vivre and drinking pleasure.


Grapes for the 2015 Rose were handpicked between 22 and 25 degrees balling to obtain the full red fruit spectrum of the grape. The grapes were hand sorted across our sorting table before being de-stemmed into a stainless steel basket press. The juice settled overnight at 14 °C, where after the clear juice was racked off the lees and fermented in stainless steel tanks. 

WINE ANALYSIS

Alcohol 13.0 % volume, Total Acid 5.5 g/l, pH 3.35, Residual Sugar 1.2 g/l.


Tasting Note: This pure Syrah beauty is pale salmon pink and has a most seductive perfumed nose of wild forest strawberries, cranberries, rose petals, potpourri, dusty garrigue, dried herbs and fynbos complexity. The palate is sleek, lithe and silky with a light, fine boned feminine texture, gravelly mineral spice and a long elegant finish boasting rose water, tangerine peel, liquid minerals and spicy red bramble berries. Perfectly delicious on its own, but would certainly be killer with some tapas nibbles! 

(Wine Safari Score: 92/100 Greg Sherwood MW)