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Mature Rioja Selections - 1970 to 2001 - Now In-Stock, Extremely Limited - 04/08/2017 - Spain

Recently acquired from one of our favorite sources of pristine, mature Rioja, we have a brand new collection of rarities dating back over 45 years. It is truly a tribute to one of the most storied and incredibly ageworthy regions in the world of fine wine. These are not only extremely rare, but we also have many available in impressive quantity considering the age and stature of the wines themselves. Expressing the history, pedigree, and caliber of one of the world's most celebrated wine regions, these are bottles that tell a unique and unparalleled story of Rioja at its core.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
1970 Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Reserva Rioja 16 $79.99 View
1970 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Rioja >36 $129.99 View
1973 Berberana Reserva Rioja 28 $99.99 View
1976 LAN "Viña Lanciano" Reserva Rioja 53 $89.99 View
1981 Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Reserva Rioja 24 $69.99 View
1982 Bodegas Olarra "Cerro Añón" Reserva Rioja 5 $79.99 View
1991 LAN "Viña Lanciano" Reserva Rioja 11 $59.99 View
1996 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja 5 $59.99 View
2001 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Seleccion Especial Rioja 11 $39.99 View
Lopez de Heredia Viña Bosconia 5º Rioja 23 $99.99 View


1970 Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Reserva Rioja ($79.99)

Winemaker Ezequiel "El Brujo" García (ex Cune in the 1960's and a portion of the 70's) described the Cerro Añon to me as being more masculine, a very old school Riojano way of referring to a wine as "Burgundian" (think: LdH Viña Bosconia, always in the Burgundy bottle). Accorindg to García, Cerro Añón always had a hefty chunk of Mazuelo and some Garnacha to brighten things up a bit. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

1970 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Rioja ($129.99)

La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza has consistently been one of our most popular Riojas. As consistent as these wines are, particularly in great vintages such as 1970, it is no surprise that so many of our customers rely on this delicious Rioja to deliver a great experience, time and time again. If you only know more recent vintages of Viña Ardanza, the older ones are undoubtedly some of the finest older Riojas around. Fortunately, they are still quite reasonably priced given the quality. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

As I prefer to do with collections of older wines, I had the opportunity to taste this immediately after delivery, and then to track its evolution over several hours. While I went back and forth between this and the highly underrated (and terrifically priced) '73 Berberana, ultimately the pedigree of the Ardanza coupled with the greatness of the 1970 vintage won out. This is a mature red hitting on all cylinders, particularly once I allowed this recently arrived, slightly shook up bottle to open up in the glass. Pungent, spicy red fruit aromas lead to a crisp, lively energetic palate, one that is full of chalky minerality and acid driven freshness. As with any fully mature red wine, it challenged my perceptions; was there enough fruit left to balance the acidity and tannins, still lightly clinging to the roof of the mouth? I would say so, but needless to say each bottle will present somewhat differently. Having had this wine on a few occasions over the past 7 years, this particular bottle really hit the spot.

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 04, 2017

One of the great pleasures in this world is beautifully aged Rioja. The 1970 Vina Ardanza from La Rioja Alta is a perfect example. People who walk into the room will literally stop and ask you what you are drinking (this happened almost immediately after we popped the bottle). The bouquet dominates. It's sweet smelling and full of dried fruits, flowers, and a notable herbal savory quality. The palate boasts both flesh and great freshness from remarkably high acid. The length is tremendous and the finish a touch nutty. You know what else is nutty? The price. It's absolutely crazy to me that one of the world's premier wine regions still has prices this low for prime examples of historic bottles from top producers.

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1973 Berberana Reserva Rioja ($99.99)

The 1973 Berberana absolutely stands out as the best 1973 Riojas I have yet tasted. Mixed berry aromas are so intensely fragrant, that I found myself nosing this glass for a very long time. And this was after the bottle had been open for 5 hours! There are scents of dark chocolate, fig confiture, dried orange peel, maybe even a hint of cinnamon? On the palate, the wine is fresh, with delicious fruit, and such effortless elegance about it. At 40 years old, this wine is clearly well into its peak drinking window but, if this bottle is any indication, does not show any sign of retiring anytime soon. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 06, 2017

Every once in awhile we come across a great older cellar in Spain, and have an opportunity to buy pristinely aged older Riojas at very reasonable prices. We've recently had another shipment from a new cellar, and this is one of my favorite wines in the lot. The 1973 Berberana still shows surprisingly tenacious fruit, softened and tempered by a long and thorough savory note. The tannins are wholly integrated to the point of having little influence other than a very slight textural nuance, whereas the acidity is still present, working well as a counterpoint to the fruit and meaty qualities. A very long and persistent finish lingers quite pleasantly on the palate .

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

We first had this wine in 2013, with a dollar that was not nearly as strong as it continues to be in 2017! On top of that, we were offered an incredible price this go 'round, so what was $150 (and pretty damn good for that price) is now under $100. Having tasted a bottle from this new shipment, I can attest to the fact that it still stands out as one of the freshest, most delicious and complete 1973 Rioja I have yet to taste. A steal for the price.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 19, 2013

Again, like I mentioned with the other 1973, this is just legendary wine at a price that, while expensive, is still within reach of many K&L employees if we scrimp and save a bit. In this case, the Berberana is worth every penny. Lots of integrated softness from the tannins and fruit melding together. Lots of complex, aromatic stuff going on. Lots of enjoyment coming from my consumption of this bottle.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 19, 2013

When Joe opened these wines for us I was simply amazed at the life left in them. There is still vibrancy here, dusty red fruits with spice and soft wood tones. The palate is still long and intriguing with no sense of decay. Perfectly mature Rioja, and an exceptional buy for a wine of such grace and complexity.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2013

The 1973 Berberana Reserva Rioja has arrived at a moment of complete integration, and is one of the most seamless, ethereal wines that I have had the pleasure of trying. The bouquet conveys a sense of roundness with savory perfume and dark fruit aromas. In the mouth the wine has resolved its tannins and has a velvety, mature texture that few wines ever achieve. The finish is cool and persistent, and I hope to have this wine again with some of the best lamb chops that I can find!

1976 LAN "Viña Lanciano" Reserva Rioja ($89.99)

Lan first planted their Viña Lanciano vineyard in a meander of the Ebro Riber, just northeast of Fuenmayor. Judging by the quality of this older bottling, as well as more recent ones such as the 2010, this is very solid Rioja Alta terroir. Along with Contino and Remelluri (not to mention the long established Lopez de Heredia and Marqués de Murrieta), LAN was a pioneer of the single vineyard Rioja. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey before being opened and enjoyed.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

As I prefer to do with collections of older wines, I had the opportunity to taste this immediately after delivery, and then to track its evolution over several hours. Needless to say, I was not disappointed! This single vineyard wine, from a vineyard first planted by Lan in a meander of the Ebro River, just northeast of Fuenmayor, it has aged spectacularly well. Aromas of red fruits, damp earth, celery seeds and cocoa lead to an edgy palate, with pomegranates, bright acidity, and a surprisingly youthful, linear quality to it While not the most complex of older Riojas, it delivers a taste of the complexity and vitality inherent in the best examples of fully mature Rioja.

1981 Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Reserva Rioja ($69.99)

Winemaker Ezequiel "El Brujo" García (ex Cune in the 1960's and a portion of the 70's) described the Cerro Añon to me as being more masculine, a very old school Riojano way of referring to a wine as "Burgundian" (think: LdH Viña Bosconia, always in the Burgundy bottle). Accorindg to García, Cerro Añón always had a hefty chunk of Mazuelo and some Garnacha to brighten things up a bit.These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally, recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed.

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1982 Bodegas Olarra "Cerro Añón" Reserva Rioja - 5 available ($79.99)

When this bottle is on, it has to be one of my all time favorite examples of mature Rioja. Winemaker Ezequiel "El Brujo" García (ex Cune in the 1960's and a portion of the 70's) described the Cerro Añon to me as being more masculine, a very old school Riojano way of referring to a wine as "Burgundian" (think: LdH Viña Bosconia, always in the Burgundy bottle). Accorindg to García, Cerro Añón always had a hefty chunk of Mazuelo and some Garnacha to brighten things up a bit. I hope you enjoy this wine as much as I have; it's not only great but an interesting slice of Rioja history as well! These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 06, 2015

Cerro Añon is Bodega Olarras masculine wine. In this case the wine is about 30% Mazuelo , with a small amount of Garnatcha in addition to the Tempranillo. The resultant wine is much more dark fruited and luxurious than many Riojas. At this point the wine is drinking very wellthe fruit is still fresh and vibrant and the acidity and tannin structure in place. Although the wine shows some age characteristics of game and spice, overall it exhibits much more fruit than many wines this age, and is therefore probably the most approachable of the group.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 24, 2015

Quite simply, this is the most satisfying bottle of fully mature wine I have enjoyed this year (I should note for the record, that it has been a particularly good year for enjoying older wines, so this wine had quite a bit of competition!) Aromas of darker berry fruits and a slightly wild, gamey side distinguish this bottling from my past experience with Bodegas Olarras Cerro Añon. The darker berried fruit continues to the palate, which shows quite a bit of intensity and depth, lifted by brightly balanced acidity and the chalky minerality I expect in great, aged Rioja. My initial impressions were of a very good Nuits St George 1er, maybe with a suggestion of Hermitage, something familiar yet transposed to a sunnier, more Spanish place For fans of perfectly aged, old school reds, I cannot recommend this wine highly enough.

1991 LAN "Viña Lanciano" Reserva Rioja - 11 available ($59.99)

Lan first planted their Viña Lanciano vineyard in a meander of the Ebro Riber, just northeast of Fuenmayor. Along with Contino and Remelluri (not to mention the long established Lopez de Heredia and Marqués de Murrieta), LAN was a pioneer of the single vineyard Rioja. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey before being opened and enjoyed.

1996 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja - 5 available ($59.99)

La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza has consistently been one of our most popular Riojas. As consistent as these wines are, particularly in great vintages such as 1996, it is no surprise that so many of our customers rely on this delicious Rioja to deliver a great experience, time and time again. If you only know more recent vintages of Viña Ardanza, the older ones are undoubtedly some of the finest older Riojas around. Fortunately, they are still quite reasonably priced given the quality. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed.

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2001 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Seleccion Especial Rioja - 11 available ($39.99)

Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is one of the most experienced and universally respected wineries in Rioja. Viña Alberdi is La Rioja Alta's juiciest, most approachable Rioja to drink on the younger side. That said, it still is one of the standard bearers of great quality, affordable, traditional Rioja, aged for two full years in barrels produced on site by the company's own coopers. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed.

Lopez de Heredia Viña Bosconia 5º Rioja ($99.99)

In the 1970s and earlier, it was customary for bodegas in Rioja to label some wines not as crianza, reserva, or gran reserva, as they do often do today, but instead to label their wines by the amount of years it was released after harvest. Thus, this 5º año from Viña Bosconia was released in its 5th year, some years ahead of its Reserva bottling. We know this to be from the very good 1973 vintage, and it is an affordable way to get a glimpse of this storied bodega's older releases. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed.