Lopez de Heredia 2016 Vina Cubillo Rioja Crianza

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R. Lopez de Heredia, also known as Tondonia, is the greatest producer in Rioja. Founded in 1877, their winemaking style has mostly stayed the same, holding fast to the traditions of their founder Rafael Lopez de Heredia. 

The red wine range starts with Vina Cubillo. Although it is marketed as a Crianza, the wine is aged significantly longer than the minimum requires, more akin to a Reserva or Gran Reserva. The wine is concentrated, but more than anything, it is defined by its complexity and typicity of the traditionalist style of Rioja.

The wine spends three years in American oak cask, all from their own cooperage, then the rest in bottle. Typically the wine is 65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha (or Garnacho, as they call it), with the remainder made. Up of Mazuelo and Graciano.

If you are seeking out the ultimate expression of Rioja, then you have found it.

Grape Varieties

65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacho (Garnacha), 10% Mazuelo & Graciano


Drink 2024 - 2035+



Size / ABV

Standard Bottle 75cl / 13.5%

This Month's Mixed Cases

The Producer

R. Lopez de Heredia

R. López de Heredia

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, known as López de Heredia, is one of the three original founding Bodegas in Rioja and the only one that is still run by the descendants of its founder, Don Rafael López de Heredia, a Chilean of Basque origin.

I have long admired these wines - this is my favourite wine producer in Rioja and the whole of Spain. The wines are highly complex, concentrated, and age-worthy; above everything, they are profoundly traditional and authentic.

The reds start with Viña Cubillo: a Crianza only in name, more akin to a Reserva or Gran Reserva. There are two Reservas: Viña Bosconia and Viña Tondonia, both sourced from single parcels of vines with varying blends of grape varieties. Both undergo extended ageing: typically, Bosconia will spend five years in a cask and six years for Tondonia. There is also an exceptionally rare Gran Reserva which typically spends ten years in barrel. You might be mistaken for thinking these are oaky wines; they are far from it.

The whites produced here are exceptional: Viña Gravonia and Viña Tondonia Blanco. Exquisite wines that are as rare as they are lovely. Again, long barrel ageing brings remarkably complex and mature notes to these great whites which defy ageing. I have been lucky to taste back to 1964 (and 1948 for the Reds) and can attest to their slow development and supreme complexity.

The Wine Region



Rioja is, along with Sherry, Spain's most famous wine region. Its red wines are based on the noble grape variety of Tempranillo. The red wines of Rioja are classified according their minimum ageing requirements in cask and bottle before being released to the market, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, with the term Cosecha being used for wines which are young, or do not tend to follow this classification. The wines have an affinity with oak, particularly with the more aromatic American oak, and like many other regions of the world there is tension between the traditionalists and the modernists, with the latter being exemplified by the wines of Artadi and Pujanza

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