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2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza - Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1442973 96 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Rioja Alta at its luxurious best. Aromatically it’s all truffle, sweet spices and red flowers, then in the mouth there’s a refreshing note of cherry, redcurrant, acidity. A rasp of tannin gives added interest and there's a resounding finish. The Tempranillo comes from the Rioja Alta zone, and the Garnacha from the La Pedriza vineyard in Rioja Oriental. Three years in American oak, with six rackings. The first Ardanza Selección Especial since 2001, 1973 and 1964. (SJE) Inner quote mark (2/2020)

96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Dried cherries, cedar, sandalwood, tar, treacle tart, cinnamon and vanilla. Medium body, fine-grained and very silky tannins for a wine of almost 10 years of age, bright and transparent acidity and a long, very spicy finish. Like going back in time and touching an ornate tapestry. The texture is mesmerizing. Inner quote mark (7/2019)

96 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial Rioja Reserva is an absolute blinder. The blend comprises 80% Tempranillo from the La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards and 20% Grenache from the La Pedriza vineyard in Rioja Baja. It was picked mid-October, aged for 36 months in four-year-old American oak (six months less for the Grenache) and bottled in 2015. It was so highly regarded by the team at La Rioja Alta that they deemed it “Selección Especial” instead of “Reserva Especial.” The bouquet is like an old friend inviting you into their home. Crushed strawberry, leather and a touch of game are all beautifully defined, and after an hour the nose became increasingly Burgundy in style. That Burgundy theme translates across to a palate that is supremely well balanced and so harmonious that it was almost too easy to drink. There are hints of chestnut and shavings of black truffle on a finish that fans out gently. (NM) Inner quote mark (12/2020)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark 2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza! (LG) Inner quote mark (6/2019)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Warm, gentle nose that's like a cocktail of strawberries, cream and subtle vanilla. Pure traditional rioja that's already giving pleasure but, on the basis of past performance, this is only at the start of a glorious life. Just the right mix of broad, ripe fruit and subtle refreshment. So clean! Dry, refreshing finish. 18+/20 points (GV) Inner quote mark (5/2020)


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Product Reviews:

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2019 | Send Email
A tremendous offering (again!) from La Rioja Alta. There's a reason that the Seleccion Especial is offered only in a few key vintages and when you taste the wine, it is all summed up in the glass. This is overt and rich with deep red cherry fruit surrounded by allspice, coconut and sandalwood. This tannins are sweet and the acid provides all the background structure. The wine is explosive and sexy now but should continue to evolve for decades to come. I'm just starting on my 2001s, so I recommend putting a few of these away, you know I will!

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2019 | Send Email
I was very excited to hear that another version of the Reserva Especial was being released. I loved the 2001, I still have a few bottles left in the cellar! Vina Ardanza is always great, it is the answer to the question, "what is a great affordable Rioja". This wine delivers on the promise of the special naming. The aromas move fruit fresh to dried fruit, lots of spice, earth, and oak. It makes me do one of my favorite things great wines do, catch you off guard that you have spent so much time with the glass up to your nose before it has ever touched your lips. the palate is rich and round with plenty of tannins but they have settled into the periphery of the wine. This wine shines. There are layers to this wine that keep unfurling the longer that it is opened. Ready tonight, but try to save a few bottles, this has long, long term cellar potential.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/6/2019 | Send Email
Rioja doesn’t get more legit than this. You can definitely feel the complexity from its maturation in bottle. The American oak on this is extremely well done, with lots of vanilla, cedar and allspice in the forefront with darker tones of blackfruit and savory meatiness lurking in the background. On the palate the wine is nicely softened, with even more savory tones punching through to a bright, crisp finish. Excellent concentration and great power.

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