2001 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1135735 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2001 Gran Reserva 904 will not be released for another 3 years. Dark ruby-colored with a garnet rim, it displays a lovely nose of Asian spices, incense, tobacco, balsamic, and blackberry. On the palate it has exceptional depth, layers of spicy black fruit, excellent ripeness, and an elegant personality. Upon release it should continue to evolve for another 5-6 years and drink well through 2040. (JM)  (6/2010)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby. Complex, highly perfumed scents of dark berry compote, cherry pit, pipe tobacco and vanilla. Smoky, sweet and focused, offering vibrant black raspberry, bitter cherry and vanilla bean flavors that gain power with air. This doesn't act like a 12-year-old wine! Finishes smooth and very long, with lingering sweetness and gentle, fine-grained tannins. (JR)  (10/2013)

91 points Wine Spectator

 The alluring aromas of vanilla, lilac and cedar give way to berry, vanilla and tobacco flavors in this expressive red. Features a supple texture, with firm underlying tannins, while balsamic acidity lends a spicy note to the finish. (TM)  (9/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Mid shaded ruby. Aromas of extended oak ageing shade into butterscotch with strong meaty and treacly elements. But overall it is really transparent and has great lift. 17.5/20 points.  (6/2014)

K&L Notes

Many folks are very much aware of the La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" bottling, whose 2001 vintage is one of the most popular Riojas we have ever sold. In contrast to the Ardanza, the "904" contains Tempranillo and Graciano (no Garnacha) and is every bit as traditional, with aging in used American oak barrels for 48 months, racking twice a year, and then further aging in bottle. The wine always has a sumptuous, velvety texture, with more bass notes in place of Ardanza's higher-toned, red-fruited profile, plus a lovely, meaty savor to the wine. In a vintage as strong as 2001, La Rioja Alta's "904" will surely make for old bones, and will only get better and better for those disciplined few who have the will power to lay off their bottles for a while! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

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Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2013 | Send Email
The power and elegance of the 2001 Gran Reservas never cease to amaze me. The 904 shows stewed red cherry, sandalwood, red currant, cola, spice, meat and leather. The acidity is bright, sassy and lingering. Elegant, graceful and fresh, the 904 drinks beautifully now, and will continue to develop for at least another 10-15 years- I can't wait to try it as it ages! Grab as much as you can- try a bottle every year or every 5 years to witness the incredible development of tempranillo. Amazing.

Additional Information:



- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.


Alcohol Content (%): 13