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An image of a premium Spanish red wine, La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza

La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza

  • Tempranillo
  • Spain, 750ml
DESCRIPTION
PRODUCER
ACCOLADES

Garnet red, medium-high depth, with an elegant palette. The nose stands out for its power, a highly-complex blend of spicy and balsamic aromas of sweet liquorice, patisserie, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee and nutmeg, and notes of stewed red fruits. Outstanding balance, pleasant freshness and great structure in the mouth, with supple, round tannins. Very pleasant mouthfeel. An ample aftertaste of spicy notes, sweet liquorice and ripe fruit makes Viña Ardanza a timeless wine.

  • Winery: La Rioja Alta
  • Varietal: Tempranillo 80%, Garnacha 20%
  • Region: Rioja, Spain
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Volume: 750ml
  • Closure: Cork
  • Food pairing: Barbecue grilled-meats, smoky dishes; Lasagna, pizza & dishes with tomato-based sauces; Mexican food (tacos, nachos, burritos)

The Viña Ardanza label is aged for years in barrel and many years in bottle before release. Only 600,000 bottles produced. Astounding old-fashioned Rioja, this wine offers a refined richness in deep red fruits, spice and gamey tobacco wrapped in vanilla tones from the traditional use of American oak. Buy this rich and elegant Rioja right here in our premium online liquor store. We deliver nationwide.

Nestled in the heart of the Barrio del Estación, the old railway quarter of Haro in La Rioja, Spain, lies La Rioja Alta, an emblematic winery steeped in tradition and history. Situated alongside Bodegas Muga, this region became a refuge for wine exporters during the devastating phylloxera crisis in France. Established in 1890 by a consortium of five pioneering families, including the Aranas, Ardanzas, and the Alberdis, whose names are now immortalised as Reservas, La Rioja Alta has grown into one of the region's most iconic wineries. With an extensive vineyard portfolio that spans over 700 hectares, it encompasses 470 hectares in the Rioja Alta, 65 hectares in the Alavesa (home to Barón de Oña), 63 hectares in the Baja, 74 hectares in the Galician denominación of Rías Baixas, and 95 hectares in DO Ribero del Duero.

The rich history of La Rioja Alta is evident in its evolution. While its original headquarters in Haro now house corporate offices, a visitor centre, a shop, and a wine storage facility, the primary winemaking activities occur at the purpose-built winery in Labastida, a mere mile down the road. This strikingly handsome stone building was completed in 1996 and serves as the epicentre of La Rioja Alta's winemaking prowess. As you step inside, you're greeted by a stunning, light-flooded hall where fermentation tanks are discreetly placed beneath a wooden floor, their sparkling steel lids visible to all. Beneath this, an expansive barrel-aging cellar houses a staggering number of barrels, estimated at around 45,000 at any given time, ensuring an ample supply of wine for future generations. An interesting aspect that sets La Rioja Alta apart from other traditional wineries is its in-house coopering practice. While oak is imported from Ohio and Pennsylvania, barrels rarely make the return journey, as the second largest export market for La Rioja Alta is Mexico, not the USA, with the UK leading the way. 

La Rioja Alta is renowned for its classically-styled Reservas and Gran Reservas, which undergo extensive cask aging. What distinguishes this bodega from its peers is the remarkable ability to preserve the wines' vibrancy and fruitiness throughout their lengthy maturation in oak. Wines are only released for sale when they are fully prepared to be savoured, and they always carry an air of graceful maturity.

At the Reserva level, three exceptional wines are crafted. Viña Alberdi, composed entirely of Tempranillo, undergoes two years in cask and two in bottle. Viña Arana, a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo, is fashioned in the supple "Rioja claret" style and enjoys three years in cask followed by two in bottle. Viña Ardanza, with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, plus an extra 6 months in cask, offers the most traditional flavour profile. In exceptional vintages (thus far, only 1964, 1973, and 2001), it earns the prestigious designation of "especial." The extended aging, which is a hallmark of La Rioja Alta's winemaking philosophy, would typically classify both Arana and Ardanza as Gran Reserva. However, this label is reserved for the two crowning jewels: 904 and 890. The former is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, aged for 4-5 years in cask and an additional 4 in bottle. The latter, produced only in the finest vintages and presented in numbered bottles, boasts an overwhelming 96% Tempranillo, with a hint of Graciano and Mazuelo, and undergoes a whopping 6-8 years in cask followed by 6 in bottle.

Notably, La Rioja Alta is the source of The Society's Exhibition Rioja Reserva. Aged for two years in cask and further matured in the bottle, this wine epitomizes complexity and maturity, featuring concentrated, silky fruit and an enticing cedary character that has earned it widespread critical acclaim in the press.

  • 95/100 Points - James Suckling (2016 vintage)
  • 95/100 Points - Guia Penin (2016 vintage)
  • 94+/100 Points - Luiz Guttierez, Robert Parker (2016 vintage)
  • 94/100 Points - Tim Artkin (2016 vintage)
  • 94/100 Points - Decanter World Wine Awards (2016 vintage)
  • 92/100 Points - Cellar Tracker (2016 vintage)
  • 94/100 Points - Tim Artkin (2015 vintage)
  • 94/100 Points - Guia Penin (2015 vintage)
  • 91/100 Points - Wien Spectator (2015 vintage)
  • 90/100 Points - Decanter World Wine Awards (2015 vintage)


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