1970 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Rioja

SKU #1139316

La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza has consistently been one of our most popular Riojas. As consistent as these wines are, particularly in great vintages such as 1970, it is no surprise that so many of our customers rely on this delicious Rioja to deliver a great experience, time and time again. If you only know more recent vintages of Viña Ardanza, the older ones are undoubtedly some of the finest older Riojas around. Fortunately, they are still quite reasonably priced given the quality.

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Price: $139.99
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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2017 | Send Email
As I prefer to do with collections of older wines, I had the opportunity to taste this immediately after delivery, and then to track its evolution over several hours. While I went back and forth between this and the highly underrated (and terrifically priced) '73 Berberana, ultimately the pedigree of the Ardanza coupled with the greatness of the 1970 vintage won out. This is a mature red hitting on all cylinders, particularly once I allowed this recently arrived, slightly shook up bottle to open up in the glass. Pungent, spicy red fruit aromas lead to a crisp, lively energetic palate, one that is full of chalky minerality and acid driven freshness. As with any fully mature red wine, it challenged my perceptions; was there enough fruit left to balance the acidity and tannins, still lightly clinging to the roof of the mouth? I would say so, but needless to say each bottle will present somewhat differently. Having had this wine on a few occasions over the past 7 years, this particular bottle really hit the spot.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/4/2017 | Send Email
One of the great pleasures in this world is beautifully aged Rioja. The 1970 Vina Ardanza from La Rioja Alta is a perfect example. People who walk into the room will literally stop and ask you what you are drinking (this happened almost immediately after we popped the bottle). The bouquet dominates. It's sweet smelling and full of dried fruits, flowers, and a notable herbal savory quality. The palate boasts both flesh and great freshness from remarkably high acid. The length is tremendous and the finish a touch nutty. You know what else is nutty? The price. It's absolutely crazy to me that one of the world's premier wine regions still has prices this low for prime examples of historic bottles from top producers.
Top Value!

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.