2004 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
*Top 100 Wines of 2013* Cedar, tobacco and spice hints frame dried cherry, berry and vanilla notes in this silky red. The flavors mingle nicely, framed by juicy acidity and light but firm tannins. The wine has a lovely, weightless intensity. A fine example of the traditional style. Drink now through 2020.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2004 Vina Ardanza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from 30-year-old vines in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. It is aged for 36 months in four-year-old American oak. It has a very enticing bouquet with dark cherry, Christmas cake, dried fig and espresso with fine delineation and bags of exuberance. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins, underpinned by a keen citric thread that cuts through the licorice-tinged, dark berry and allspice-tinged fruit with style. It is simply delicious on the bittersweet finish. Drink now-2020+ (NM)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby-red. Suave, spicy red fruit preserve and potpourri scents are complicated by notes of vanilla, licorice and mocha. Sappy, focused and energetic, offering sweet raspberry and cherry-cola flavors that are given lift by juicy acidity. Impressively pure and penetrating on the finish, which leaves floral pastille and smoky mineral notes behind.
A bit fresher if less rich than the 2005. Very fine and spicy with a strong strawberry note. A very fine wine by any measure. See several other enthusiastic notes.
La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza has been our most popular Rioja over the past two years. It is no wonder, as this is the gold standard for traditional bodegas, a winery which ages their wines the old fashioned way: three years in barrel with two rackings a year, followed by three years in bottle. Similar in style to the 2001 vintage, with more acidity driving the structure, this is drinking great now and will likely age as well for as long a time as the '01. From the winery: "80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The Tempranillo grapes come from 30-year-old vines planted in our Viña Ardanza vineyards in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. The Garnacha grapes come from old, goblet-pruned vines planted at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), in plots adjacent to our Finca La Pedriza estate."