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2014 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Gran Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
96 points Decanter: "Arana commemorates one of La Rioja Alta's historic families. The Tempranillo (95%) and Graciano (5%) are aged separately in American oak barrels for three years before blending, then for three years in bottle (two years less than the 904, and six years less than the 890). The winery's keynote to this Rioja is 'freshness'. I agree. (SJE)" (08/2020) 96 points James Suckling: "Lots of mushroom and walnut aromas with plum and leather, too. It’s full-bodied, but very soft and creamy-textured with lots of old wood, mushroom and ripe frui...
Price: $39.99

This Gran Reserva is from some of their oldest Tempranillo and Graciano vines, planted in 1931 and 1946. It is elegant, generous, and a precociously delicious treat for now, or over the next 15 years. Miguel Merino makes, as he likes to put it, an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own 2 hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes his wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (...
Price: $37.99

Based in the Southern Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a bodega producing expressive, regionally specific wines at very reasonable prices. They are entirely self reliant in grapes, all of which are grown in their home village of Badarán, one of the coldest zones of Rioja Alta. The vineyards are closer to the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, a range whose elevation and snow-covered peaks are even more dramatic than the Sierra Cantabria range to the north. This is made from 100% Tempranillo grown in iron rich clay soils. In fact, this red...
Price: $12.99


94 points James Suckling: "Taking on a balsamic and high-toned wood character to the ripe fruit on the nose. Some dried cheese and ripe fruit, too. Medium-bodied with integrated tannins that are polished and fine. Goes on for minutes. A beautiful, traditional wine, as always." (09/2020) 94 points Vinous: "Deep garnet. Intense, mineral-tinged red and blue fruit and floral scents are complemented by suggestions of baking spices, vanilla and woodsmoke. Supple, seamless and concentrated, yet lithe as well, offering intense raspberry, cherry-vanilla and ros...
Price: $44.99

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Reserva is the wine they first produced with the idea to rescue the traditional Reserva (and also Gran Reserva) wines that were almost dying in the mid-1990s. And from the vintages I have tasted, I think this 2014, though not an easy harvest, is the one that best resembles the wines from yesteryear. Yes, they used some French oak, but they kept using American barrels. It's still young, lively and a little creamy, especially when tasted next to the Gran Reserva. It has a balsamic, ashy twist, a medium bod...
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95 points James Suckling: "Lots of dried fruit with plum, light raisin, chocolate and toasted oak. Some balsamic undertones. White truffles and dried flowers. Medium body, creamy tannins and savory, balsamic undertones. Extreme and unique, as always." (11/2020) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The nose of the 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva is very elegant, fresh and with an herbal twist, starting to show the complexity of the aged wines that are sometimes still too young when they are released 10+ years from the vintage! The palate is medium-bodie...
Price: $49.99

94 points James Suckling: "A fine-tuned and polished gran reserva with lots of finesse and linear character. Medium body. Refined and beautiful." (07/2019) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There is a developed and subtle nose reminiscent of petrol (is it mineral?), hints of iodine and sweet spices. The palate is powerful and still a little tannic, as the wine was released even earlier because they skipped one vintage. Serious, austere, faithful to its character. (LG)" (10/2020) 93 points Wine Spectator: "This muscular red has a thick, dense ...
Price: $74.99

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