2012 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1484266 95 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Traditional and beautiful in character with plum, balsamic, orange-peel and leather aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy texture and a long, intense aftertaste. Inner quote mark (10/2020)

94 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Warming, nutty, complex Rioja with layers of fruit and a softness of dark cherry fruit on the palate. Soft tannins and elegantly poised with a long, savoury finish. *Best Spanish Red of 2020* (AH) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Garnacha is an important component in the 2012 Viña Ardanza Reserva, where it represents 20% of the blend (the rest is, of course, Tempranillo). 2011 was a difficult vintage for Garnacha, so Viña Ardanza was not produced that year and they jumped from 2010, which had the mention "Selección Especial," to 2012, where it returns to the regular Reserva. The wine is a prototype of polished and aged Rioja with a ruby color with some orange and a developed nose with subtle aromas of decayed leaves, sweet spices and some cherries in liqueur even, quite complex and harmonious. The palate is velvety but rich, with resolved tannins and a fine chalky mouthfeel, sleek and elegant, terribly balanced. The flavors are pure and defined, and there is an overall sense of harmony that I like very much. Brilliant Ardanza! (LG) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Bright ruby-red. Vibrant, spice- and mineral-accented scents of fresh red fruits, succulent herbs and spice cake are complemented by an emerging floral overtone. Juicy and pliant in the mouth, offering gently sweet raspberry, cherry cola, spice cake and rose pastille flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. In an energetic style, showing fine clarity and silky tannins that frame a long, smooth finish. (JR) Inner quote mark (4/2021)

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 600m above sea level in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), in plots adjacent to our Finca La Pedriza estate."

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Product Reviews:

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/17/2021 | Send Email
This wine vintage after vintage always comes through as delicious and interesting. The 2012 is dry with integrated fruit flavors and a touch of earth. It is focused and ready to drink now and well worth the price.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/17/2021 | Send Email
I have always been a fan of Vina Ardanza as it hits my "terrior" need and my admiration for more traditional styles of Rioja. This offering is no exception to that need. A lively bright nose grenadine, pomegranate and orange peel scents leads to a mouthful of spicy, bright acidity and soft red (mainly cherry) fruits. I even got a little rye bread on the lingering finish. This Rioja is a real treat1

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2020 | Send Email
Always Fire. Sweet dust, fruit leather, all spice and red cedar sawdust explosion. La Rioja Alta's calling card, that savory snickerdoodle finish, is still there and the journey to that end is just as pleasant as the conclusion. We don't need to convince you this is good, it gets top scores at a stroll. A heavyweight wine that might also be a top pound-for-pound contender. Christmas came early this year.

By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2020 | Send Email
This is one of our staff and customer favorites. Every vintage is amazing and it was one of our most well received wines last year. This year is no different, upon opening it you get this funk that makes me think of Brie with a fruit compote. As it opens though that quickly blows off and turns into classic rioja! Black olives, strawberry, wood dust and black cherry. The palate is brighter with red and black fruits blending and balancing itself out with dusty earth and spice. The finish is a little creamy and doughy and everything you want from this region!

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