2001 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja
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.
Many folks are very much aware of the La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" bottling, whose 2001 vintage has been 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, and 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 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)