Quite simply, these are some of the finest Riojas that can grace your cellar: complex, refined, classic but without compromising fruit intensity and to reiterate: wines that speak about where they come from. - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
ABOUT LA RIOJA ALTA
La Rioja Alta continues to be one of the benchmarks for traditionally produced Rioja. Established in 1890 at the same spot where their head office sits today, their three Reserva wine brands, Alberdi, Arana and Ardanza are named after the founding families, all three of which remain shareholders. The company still maintains traditional Rioja winemaking practices whilst embracing many of the new technological advances. It is unusual for a great bodega of Rioja to own vineyards, but La Rioja Alta own 360ha from which they can source top-quality grapes, resulting in excellent fruit and richness throughout their wines. Tempranillo dominates the plantings, complemented with a small proportion of Garnacha and Graciano.
La Rioja Alta deem their Gran Reserva 890 their greatest wine, making it only in the very best vintages - on average three times per decade. The ageing of the 890 is painstaking, tireless and lasts for 13 years with no expense spared. The Gran Reserva 904 is no less prestigious, being made as infrequently as the Gran Reserva 890 but in a different style - old oak rather than new, and aged for nine years. A number of critics prefer this more immediately appealing style. Wine Enthusiast in fact named Gran Reserva 904 as their number one wine in the world in 2016. Both the 890 and 904 are released ready to drink, but also have the proven ability to age gracefully for decades.
This year sees the first release of the Rioja Gran Reserva Vina Arana. More accessible in terms of price and style, but made with the same painstaking care and attention to detail. 2012 was marked by drought in Rioja until rains arrived in September, refreshing the vines and allowing the grapes to attain perfect ripeness with superb concentration of flavour. Aged in three year old oak for three years, followed by three years in bottle, the wine picked up a Platinum Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards upon release.
"Garnacha is an important component in the 2012 Viña Ardanza Reserva, where it represents 20% of the blend (the rest is, of course, Tempranillo). The wine is a prototype of polished and aged Rioja with a ruby color with some orange and a developed nose with subtle aromas of decayed leaves, sweet spices and some cherries in liqueur even, quite complex and harmonious. The palate is velvety but rich, with resolved tannins and a fine chalky mouthfeel, sleek and elegant, terribly balanced. The flavors are pure and defined, and there is an overall sense of harmony. Brilliant Ardanza! They produced no less than 600,000 bottles of this wine, which is remarkable. It has been in bottle since March 2016, so it's very approachable but should also age nicely in bottle. Drink or keep." - 94 Points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
"Three years in barrel and three in bottle. This has amazing aromatics: sweet blackberry and black cherry fruit with dried herbs, tar and spice, as well as some hints of vanilla and coconut, and sweet tobacco, too. The palate is juicy and supple, but also quite profound, showing cherries, berries, spice, sweet herbs, some cedar and coconut from the oak, and a lovely sense of harmony and precision. It’s a ripe wine, but shows such complexity and focus, with everything pulling in the right direction. I’m just so impressed with this wine: in its style – classical Rioja – it is just about perfect, and is beginning to enter a very long drinking window. So complex and layered and refined.” - 96 points, Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak
"Lovely dried red fruit, such as plums with just a hint of prunes. Cedar, walnut and leather undertones. Full-bodied with lots of fruit, considering its age, as well as hints of smoke, tobacco, bark and black tea. Some balsamic at the finish. Traditionally styled with lovely results. Drink or hold." - 96 Points, James Suckling
"2005 was an excellent vintage, and they implemented some improvements in the harvest, introducing 350-kilo boxes and refrigerated transport to the winery, which they think provides better grapes and potentially better quality of the wines. The palate is medium-bodied, the tannins have mostly melted, and it has lively acidity that lift the wine up." - 95 Points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
"The aromas to this are stunning with dried strawberry, stone and fresh mushroom. Full body and very tight with incredible depth and structure. It goes on for minutes. One of the greatest ever? The new 1964?” - 98 points, James Suckling
If you have any questions, or if you wish to purchase any of the wines, please use the links above or contact us on (07)32521117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - Prices valid until stock runs out or Thursday 3rd of June 2021