2007 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1250925 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, the Tempranillo from 30-year-old vineyards La Cuesta and Montecillo in the villages of Fuenmayor and Cenicero, and the Garnacha from old head-pruned vines at 600 meters altitude in Tudelilla, in Rioja Baja, from plots next to their Finca La Pedriza. Those should soon be mature enough to go into the wine (they were planted in 2004 and they will make it into the Ardanza blend from 2007-2008). The grapes are fermented separately with natural yeasts and the Tempranillo then matured in American oak barrels averaging four years old for 36 months, while the Garnacha matured in second- and third-use American oak barrels for 30 months. The nose is very fresh, with notes of beef blood, iron, cherries in liqueur, some subtle leather and spices plus notes of autumn forest and truffles. The palate is more lively and has some tannins that would feel better integrated with some food or a little bit of time in bottle It was bottled in November 2011. This will be released around September/October 2015, so by the time it hits the shelves it will be more polished. Great value for money. (LG)  (4/2015)

92 points Vinous

 Brilliant red. Lively, oak-spiced raspberry and cherry scents are complemented by candied rose and vanilla, with a smoky mineral topnote providing added lift. Sappy and seamless on the palate, offering juicy red fruit, mocha and coconut flavors plus a suggestion of sweet chewing tobacco. In a graceful, approachable style, finishing with strong, thrust and silky, late-arriving tannins. While this suave Rioja is quite enjoyable now, I'd give it some more time in the cellar so that the American oak is able to integrate with the wine's fruit. (JR)  (11/2015)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Dry, leathery, slightly nutty aromas are more earthy than fruity. This mature Rioja is fresh and light on the palate, with leafy, spicy flavors of plum, tobacco and wood grain. Spicy berry and cocoa flavors grace a fading finish. Drink now. (MS)  (6/2016)

Wine Spectator

 Tar, tobacco and tea flavors give this red a savory character, but the core of dried cherry keeps this balanced and lively. Focused and firm. Drink now through 2018. (TM)  (8/2015)

K&L 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. 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 m above sea level in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), in plots adjacent to our Finca La Pedriza estate."

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Price: $29.99

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By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/25/2016 | Send Email
I am in love with the 2007 vintage of Vina Ardanza from la Rioja Alta! Upon release the bottle was a bit shy, showing plenty of structure and little fruit, but checking back in a few months later, I find the wine has opened up and become even more elegant and expressive than the well-loved 2005 vintage. 2007 as a rule was a little cooler, and therefore the wine shows a bit more high-toned acidity and structure, but this also lends a more subtle character to the wine. Although it is already showing some savory development, this wine certainly has the structure to age further. Drink some now and save some for a couple of years!

By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/24/2016 | Send Email
If you're longing for Rioja like it used to be, look no further, here it is. Continuing a run of great Ardanza vintages, the 2007 will not disappoint.
Top Value!

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/23/2016 | Send Email
Absolutely classic Rioja, this is the kind of wine I can get into over and over again. Dried red fruit and tart cherry are well balanced by the spice and lively acid that give this wine drive. Although the 2007 vintage was a little cooler and did not have the ripeness of 2005 this wine benefits by having a little more elegance and focus. As much as I enjoyed the 2005 vintage I find I am responding as well to the new offering from them.

By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/23/2016 | Send Email
Don't let this one fly below your radar. If you are looking for the tried and true taste of a classic Rioja, you will do well to pick up a few of these bottles. The nose is fueled with dried cherry and dusty herbal notes. On the palate is generous red, ripe fruit mixed with all the Riojan hallmarks of dried tobacco leaves and saddle leather. Just add a plate of Spanish cured meats and manchego and it's fiesta time!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/23/2016 | Send Email
The 2007 Viña Ardanza is showing very well right now. While not necessarily a departure from the house style (if you've liked it in the past, I suspect you will continue to with this vintage), I will say that it shows a bit more development than normal, perhaps with a more dark fruited and savory profile. It seems like the Rioja Alta Tempranillo is more dominant in the 07. Vintage characteristics aside, Viña Ardanza is one of the true bargains in the wine world, a wine which spends three years in barrel, another three in bottle, and is produced from fruit which hails from time tested vineyard sources (many owned by the winery). When it comes to Rioja, this is the one that, perhaps more than any other, I can depend upon to be delicious in California, satisfying in Spain, wonderful now or fantastic after aging. A must-have for me.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/23/2016 | Send Email
Another fine, traditional Rioja that I was able to taste right after the 2004 Vina Tondonia, which was great. This (also) traditionally styled Rioja has a beef broth nose with dark cherries and dried leaves. On the palate, dried red plums and cherries, cocoa powder and baking spices. Simply wonderful! Traditionalists, rejoice in this under-$30 bargain!

By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/29/2016 | Send Email
Fans of the 2005 will be glad that La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza is back with a bang for the 2007 vintage! With the 2007 vintage being cooler, this is a crisper and more focused wine than its 2005 counterpart. The nose offers plenty of spice, dried cherries, and stewed red berries. On the palate, the wine is light on its feet, confirming dried cherries and red berries, with the addition of plenty of spicy and herbaceous notes - and a touch of vanilla. In comparison to the 2005, this wine is wearing its oak a little bit better early on. I will be buying at least a case to see how it develops over the next 10-15 years.

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