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2009 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1376570 96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Very fresh and vivid 2009 with berries, dark spice and hints of walnuts. Full-bodied, reserved and so held back and muscular, but you don’t feel the tannins and the strength. A great wine. Give it two or three years. Try in 2020. Inner quote mark (8/2018)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The current vintage of one of the flagship wines from La Rioja Alta is the 2009 Viña Ardanza Reserva, the second year it has contained 20% Garnacha grapes from their estate vineyards in La Pedriza in the village of Tudelilla in Rioja Baja. The Tempranillo comes from vineyards averaging 30 years of age in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. The hand-harvested bunches were sorted and put in boxes, transferred to the winery at 14 degrees Celsius to be destemmed and crushed, then the grapes fermented in stainless steel, including malolactic. The two varieties were aged separately, 36 months in used American oak barrels for Tempranillo and 30 months for Garnacha, and racked every six months. It was initially closed, shy and serious, riper and a little darker than the 2008 but still very balanced, serious and harmonious. The palate combines power with elegance, with some tannins, focused flavors, some chalky texture and a rustic touch that gives it character. 600,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2014. (LG) 93+ Inner quote mark (2/2018)

91 points Decanter

Outer quote mark The 2009 Viña Ardanza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from estate vines, vinified separately in stainless steel before being aged in old American oak - the Tempranillo spends 36 months in wood and the Garnacha 30 months, meaning that this wine technically qualifies for Gran Reserva status. Still fairly youthful, it has aromas of vanilla and cedar-tinged macerated cherries, while on the smoothly-textured palate a zesty raspberry acidity provides a spine around which wrap soft red fruits, spicy cedar and fragrant spices. (JB) Inner quote mark (5/2018)

91 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Dill scents of American oak seem to point up the gaminess of this delicate, pleasantly green-edged Rioja, with notes of dried flowers, strawberries and mint. It’s a match for mortadella with pistachios. Inner quote mark (12/2018)

90 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark A plush texture carries cherry, strawberry, vanilla, tea and spice flavors in this traditional red. Light tannins and orange peel acidity keep this lively and focused. Spicy and floral notes linger on the finish. (TM) Inner quote mark (10/2018)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Rich with vanilla and cream, backed up by deliciously ripe black fruit and firm, pert tannins. This is holding on to its youth convincingly, and oozes traditional Rioja typicality. 17+/20 points. (RH) Inner quote mark (6/2018)

K&L Notes

La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza has been our most popular Rioja for several years. It is no wonder, as this is the gold standard for traditional bodegas: a winery that ages their wines the old fashioned way, meaning three years in barrel with two rackings a year, followed by three years in bottle. According to the winery, the blend is "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."

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Price: $29.99
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By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2019 | Send Email
One of the oldest wineries in Rioja, La Rioja Alta's beautiful wines are well known and it's difficult to add to the praise that precedes mine. This 2009 vintage bottling of the Reserva is one of my favorite in recent years (they always release wines late). It shows beautiful richness and earthy, spice-laden depth. The palate is weighty but balanced, and the oak is well integrated into the fruit profile. I'd highly recommend this classic wine to anyone looking for a great Rioja. It will also age incredibly well.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/10/2018 | Send Email
This wine is big, bold and immediate with with dried cherries, dark plums, leather and oak shadings jumping out of the glass. The sweet and intense flavors are held together with fine, deeply embedded tannins that lend elegance and proportion. At nine years since the harvest this is just beginning to become burnished and already provides delicious drinking. Decanting recommended.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/17/2018 | Send Email
I surely would have fell out of my chair, had I been sitting while first nosing and tasting the new release of La Rioja Alta's iconic "Viña Ardanza." Fortunately, I was standing, though the experience of tasting this new release of one of my favorite red wines on the planet is always a memorable one. This is one of those wines that I love every bit as much now as when I first became acquainted with it 15 years ago. It's such a great value, unique in that it tastes great upon release and, if you are one to patiently your wines, will go for two decades, easily. That said, there are lovely, typical, vintages of Ardanza, and then there are the heavies - 2001, 2004 and I would add 2009 to that list - lip smackingly delicious and in perfect balance, even on release. In fact, I do not recall the other vintages mentioned tasting quite as good as this one does. Highly recommended, for now and for the cellar.

By: Cameron Price | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2018 | Send Email
Great, NO-FUSS Rioja! 75% Tempranillo and 25% Garnacha. This wine gives you everything you want for a mid-priced Rioja Reserva, body, freshness, depth and tannins. In the glass a nice, soft ruby color and great aromatics of dark chocolate and subtle mintiness or eucalyptus. The palate expresses robust and fresh tannins and ripe red and black berried fruit with just the right amount of toastiness. Great value wine that doesn't budge year after year. Don't miss it!
Drink from 2018 to 2021

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