2004 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1134447 94 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Very fresh and floral with blackberry and blueberry character. Black truffle and sweet tobacco character. Full body, tight and tannic with lots of blue fruits. Just a baby. Beautiful now but will go on for years. Inner quote mark (7/2017)

94 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Cedar, tobacco and spice hints frame dried cherry, berry and vanilla notes in this silky red. The flavors mingle nicely, framed by juicy acidity and light but firm tannins. The wine has a lovely, weightless intensity. A fine example of the traditional style. *Ranked #22 Top 100 Wines of 2013, Highly Recommended* (TM) Inner quote mark (9/2012)

93 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2004 Vina Ardanza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from 30-year-old vines in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. It is aged for 36 months in four-year-old American oak. It has a very enticing bouquet with dark cherry, Christmas cake, dried fig and espresso with fine delineation and bags of exuberance. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins, underpinned by a keen citric thread that cuts through the licorice-tinged, dark berry and allspice-tinged fruit with style. It is simply delicious on the bittersweet finish. (NM) Inner quote mark (8/2012)

92 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark This is plenty ripe at 13.5 percent alcohol, but classy and balanced at the same time, as it offers up a fine bouquet of cherries, cloves, red plums, a touch of cardamom, lovely soil tones, nutskins, cocoa and a combination of American and French oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and velvety, with a fine core, lovely focus and balance, fine-grained tannins and a long, refined and nascently complex finish. This is really a lovely wine in the making, and while it is extremely tasty today in its youthful innocence, I would tuck it away in the cellar for three or four years and let its secondary layers of complexity emerge. Lovely juice. (JG) 92+ Inner quote mark (5/2014)

92 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Vivid ruby-red. Suave, spicy red fruit preserve and potpourri scents are complicated by notes of vanilla, licorice and mocha. Sappy, focused and energetic, offering sweet raspberry and cherry-cola flavors that are given lift by juicy acidity. Impressively pure and penetrating on the finish, which leaves floral pastille and smoky mineral notes behind. (JR) Inner quote mark (9/2013)

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. Similar in style to the 2001 vintage, with more acidity driving the structure, this is drinking great now and will likely age as well for as long a time as the '01. 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 meters above sea level in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), in plots adjacent to our Finca La Pedriza estate."

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Price: $64.99
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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/9/2013 | Send Email
I am a huge fan of La Rioja Alta. I think the wines are classic, balanced and age really well. The '04 Ardanza is a great follow-up to the 2001 (one of our best selling wines last year!) and has the stuffing to last for quite awhile. Sweet red currants, mulled cherries and baked plums fill the palate. Aromas of pipe tobacco, vanilla and spice compliment the fruit. An earthy forest floor quality lends beauty to a long and complex finish. Even more accessible than the 2001, this wine will drink now and continue to develop for quite some time.

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