2009 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Reserva Rioja SKU #1291972


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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is arguably the traditional Rioja bodega whose wines are most consistent, readily available, the most time and time again delicious.This is a tough to find bottling from La Rioja Alta. It consists of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo. Wonderfully classic, with lovely fruit, some subtle earthy notes, and a more restrained, traditional style. This wine will surely age well for another decade or more. Arana, it is worth noting, is also a favorite amongst many of the crew over at La Rioja Alta.

Staff Reviews

  • Blake Conklin
    By: Blake Conklin
    K&L Staff Member
    What a marvelous Rioja at a great price. I'll admit, I don't drink a lot of Rioja's usually, and this one specifically is a great introduction. With 8 years of age currently, this Rioja is smooth, slightly fruit forward, and overall a nice drinking experience.
  • Andrew Stevens
    By: Andrew Stevens
    K&L Staff Member
    I am definitely a fan of this winery and was excited to get to taste a new one (for me) from La Rioja Alta and I was not disappointed in the slightest. This is one of those bottles that helps to showcase why I like Rioja as a region so much. Bright red fruit notes with plenty of earthy notes. Alternating sweet and savory notes with a lovely mouth feel, I was fortunate to taste this a day after it had been opened and it was screaming good.
  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    K&L Staff Member
    This bottling of Viña Arana is mostly Tempranillo with just a touch of Mazuelo (~5%). I was struck by the rustic nature of this wine. Aromas of hard cheeses, incense, clove, and cinnamon. There is a noted umami characteristic to the wine as well. Strawberries and red cherries are followed by orange peel, hard cheese, and a hint of Portobello mushroom. Ample tannins and a fresh, bright acidity throughout. Drinking fantastic now, it also can further improve with prolonged cellaring (aging potential is high with this bottling). Perfect with grilled meat or assortment of aged cheeses
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    K&L Staff Member
    The Vina Arana is the type of wine that launches a lifetime of interest in Spanish wine, mainly because it's so damn good and so splendidly affordable at the same time. I fell into Rioja in my mid-twenties because it was the only category it seemed where the top wines were in reach of my elementary school teacher salary. The 2009 Vina Arana from La Rioja Alta is like a flashback to that time in my life: you get the benefit of some bottle age that has softened the wine over the last eight years, creating a silky and soft fruited palate that glides over the tongue. There is fruit, but there is also just a bit of sandlewood and savory notes--enough to entice you even further. In short, it's a wine of simple deliciousness and yet utter complexity. Best of all, you get both of those qualities for less than thirty bucks. You can feel like you're splurging here for a very modest price.
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    K&L Staff Member
    As delicious as the "904" bottling is from La Rioja Alta, the Vina Arana gives you plenty of traditional Rioja character, as well as a very good representation of house style, at one of the most consistent, and certainly one of my favorite, Spanish wineries in La Rioja Alta. Quite frankly, I could drink a bottle of this myself, particularly with a mixed plate of cured chorizo, cheeses and bread. It is the archetypal, traditional Rioja, showing off fresh and dried fruits, dried orange peel and pipe tobacco on the nose. Bien clasico! This leads to a palate that is bang on Rioja: supple, slightly savory, fruity, yet dry with balanced acidity. I should also add that it is mellow and more-ish, two key descriptors of the kind of Rioja I love to drink. While the nose shows some lovely development, on the palate the fruit shows admirable poise and freshness, as well as surprising volume and depth for an under $25 wine. It is no surprise that this is the wine of choice amongst the team of coopers, cellar and vineyard workers at La Rioja Alta! One of my absolute favorite reds in the shop right now, this wine is for drinking in quantity (quick pro tip: like the other wines in this stable, the Arana will also age a while!)
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    Earthier and denser than the Vina Alberdi, the Vina Arana cries out from the forest floor. It has the wet earth tones of healthy soil blended beautifully with boysenberry and olallieberry sweetness. Fresh cut cedar adds a spicy intrigue on the long and vibrant finish. This is a textbook example of Rioja value.


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