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2010 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1432690 98 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Fresh blueberries and brambleberries take center stage, which is striking for a wine of this age. There are also lots of roasted herbs, such as sage, not to mention floral elements, including lavender and dried violets. Then come cedar, sandalwood and tar. The tannins are incredibly round and soft, without the slightest hint of anything dry. This is among the most elegant of Riojas, where the acidity is wonderfully pronounced and cuts right through any touch of dried fruit. Long and powerful, yet subtle on the finish. Drink now, or hold for a very long time. Inner quote mark (7/2019)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark It seems like yesterday when the superb 2001 was released, and now I already have the 2010 Gran Reserva 904 in my glass. It has to be among the greatest modern time vintages of this mythical bottling, where they aim for a wine that has a long aging potential. This is mostly Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 13.5% alcohol, and it matured in fourth-used American oak barrels for four years, during which time the wine was racked every six months. It has the combination of elegance and power only the best vintages are capable of, with the classical aromas, great detail and nuance, very good balance and persistence. They consider 2010 among the best years of this century, and maybe future generations will talk about 2010 like we talk about the great classical vintages of yesterday today. The palate is polished but shows plenty of energy and tension, the tannins are very fine and elegant, and the flavors are focused and clean. This has to be one of the greatest wines from the vintage. A legend in the making. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2015. Drink through 2035. (LG) 96+ Inner quote mark (6/2019)

K&L Notes

Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is arguably the traditional Rioja bodega 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?

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Price: $79.99
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By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2019 | Send Email
I could not contain my excitement when I saw the new vintage hit our inventory, and this bottling did not disappoint. Toasty American oak gives this heft and a bold structure, but by no means overwhelms. Layer upon layer of ripe fruit, sweet flowers, warm earth, aptly balanced spice and savory herbs seem to extend further and further down a deep well of flavor the bottom of which I cannot find. The wine just keeps giving. It's still in its infancy, so I revisited it several over the course of 36 hours, sampling at as many intervals as I could manage. Every time, without fail, more complexity built up in the glass. So much life in it yet, I cannot wait to see where it will be in 20 years.

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