2007 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
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)
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)
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)
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)
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."