2007 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1288024 97 points James Suckling

 Wonderful purity of fruit with a strawberry, currant and plum character. Full and velvety body with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious fresh and fruity finish. Classic Rioja style. Que lindo! Drink now.  (10/2016)

95 points Decanter

 Seductive and complex nose, typical Mediterranean expression of warm berry fruit, cherries, blackcurrants and plums. Explosion of fruit on palate with roses, chocolate and vanilla, silky tannins and racy acidity.  (3/2017)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 If Viña Ardanza seems to be going fast, the Gran Reserva 904 is even faster and we're now on the 2007 Gran Reserva 904. This wants to be the classic Gran Reserva--polished, silky and elegant, with aging potential. It is a blend of Tempranillo with 10% Mazuelo aged for four years in well-seasoned American oak barrels, with eight manual rackings. I found that the freshness of the vintage and its relatively young age gave the wine a youngish character that I loved, combining developed notes of meat, spices, leather and balsam with almost cherry-like aromas. The palate feels balanced and elegant, with fine-grained and fully resolved tannins and great acidity. This vintage of 904 surprised me!  (8/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This supple red delivers bright, focused flavors of dried cherry, orange peel, vanilla, sandalwood, tobacco and spice, with light tannins and fresh acidity. An elegant rendering of the traditional style. Drink now through 2022.  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is arguably - amongst the traditional Rioja bodegas - the one whose entire range of wines is the most consistent, the most readily available, and the most delicious. Their "904" bottling contains Tempranillo and Graciano (no Garnacha) and is every bit as traditional. It sees 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. Does Gran Reserva Rioja get any better than this? (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

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Price: $44.99

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Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/20/2017 | Send Email
This wine holds a special place in my heart. I recently returned from a trip to Spain on which my wife and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary with a tremendous meal at Taberna Herrerias in Logrono (at the suggestion of one of our direct import producers, Miguel Merino. Thank you Miguel!). While we typically sought out new wines to try on our trip, this was a special night that called for sure fire wine choices. I was thrilled to see this 2007 vintage on the menu. A stunningly classic wine the 904 Gran Reserva is a perfect example of old school Rioja with a touch of modern sensibilities. The sweet black fruits are pure and bright - full of black cherries and wild plums. But the fruit perfectly complements, never overshadows, the savory bass tones of the wine. There are tons of wet stones and rich healthy compost notes here. The oak integrates perfectly offering vanilla and baking spices. High acidity gives excellent freshness and lift to wine which finishes on long and silky smooth tannins. Everything is in perfect balance now and while there will certainly be lots of development to come, it is likely to remain that way for at least a couple of decades in the cellar. I've added several magnums to my cellar for future celebrations already.

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/18/2017 | Send Email
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This 2007 Gran Reserva ‘904’ is one of my favorite wines that I’ve had to pleasure of tasting this year. Mostly Tempranillo (90%) with Graciano additionally (10%), this wine only improves with more time decanted or in the glass. At first, this wine exudes a multitude of savory notes, especially root vegetables and demi-glace. As you go in once more, cherry liqueur, stewed red fruit, vanilla and sweet tobacco are revealed as well. The balance on the palate is exquisite, with a wonderful freshness and juicy acidity that is quite delightful coming from a wine that is over 10 years old. The tannins are well-integrated and play off nicely with the cherry clafoutis, dried herb, dust, and Valrhona cocoa flavors that permeate the palate. This wine is a classic Rioja that will see a great deal of evolution if one desires to age 10-20 years longer; this wine can also be enjoyed without further cellaring

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/18/2017 | Send Email
La Rioja Alta is where you start if you want to get serious about Spanish wine. However, it's also a great starting point for anyone who wants to understand the merits of aged reds of any kind. Getting the chance to taste serious wines like the 2007 904 Gran Reserva, a wine with ten years of bottle age at this point, were what catapulted me into this industry and lit the fire under my feet as a budding wino. Simply put: there are few wines that offer such a seamless transition between the soft and supple fruit of youth and the rustic complexity that comes with time, and it's that quality that shines in this wine. The red fruits are plush on the palate, but they're subdued rather than juicy. About halfway through they begin to slowly morph into hints of oak, earth, and leather with a bit of a roasted note towards the finish. Those are the secondary flavors of maturation coming through, but they're incredibly nuanced and graceful. Beware that polished profile, newcomers to La Rioja Alta; they're a gateway drug. And once you're addicted to the beauty of old Rioja, there's no going back.

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2017 | Send Email
This is another fantastic vintage of 904. It may be the most utterly delicious and versatile traditional Rioja in our stock. I say versatile particularly in terms of the drink or cellar question: while I love how this is tasting now, I can say with a good amount of confidence that this will be even better at 20 years old in 2027 than it is at 10 years old today. Currently, the 904 shows it's classic combination of dark cherries, cocoa powder and leather on the nose, leading to a palate that is supple, elegant, perhaps fresher and more fruit forward than the nose would suggest, though of course at 10 years young there are lovely developed notes emerging. Given all the fawning press, this wine was not nearly as plentiful as I had hoped it would be and our original order quantity was cut back, so be sure to grab what you want before it sells out!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Tempranillo

- 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.
Country:

Spain

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 13