2008 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja SKU #1309481

$29.99

DC 95 JS 94 JG 93
RP 93 WS 90
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Professional Reviews

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."

Staff Reviews

  • Diana Turk
    By: Diana Turk
    12/5/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    It’s hard not to gush about any release from favorite producer La Rioja Alta, but the 2008 "Viña Ardanza" Reserva is especially gorgeous. Cherry fruit, reminiscent of the most classic Tempranillo, shines from the glass immediately, with hints of smoke and heady spice followed by leather notes. There’s lifted acid indicative of the colder vintage and brighter-than-expected red fruit, but this still drinks with all the deeper, old world elegance of serious Rioja. It’s both focused and luxurious in texture, and will age beautifully. Perfect for the holidays and well beyond.
  • Ivan Diaz
    By: Ivan Diaz
    11/30/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    The 2008 Ardanza (one of my favorite bottlings from one of my favorite producers) is brighter and leaner than the riper, juicier 2007, and is all the better for it. Dried, sour cherries waft from the glass, mingling with clove-y spices, cedar, tobacco, and that dried, autumn leaf quality I always get from the best Rioja. The medium-bodied palate continues to showcase the lifted, almost tart cherry while revealing more rustic, earthy tones. After almost ten years of ageing before release this is a great wine today, but has potential to age another ten.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    11/28/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    There is a wonderful freshness to the 2008. The nose is full of ripe cherries, pungent herbs, a little tobacco and spice, but most of all, a clean bright fresh scent. It's almost floral, but I can't place what flowers it would be. There is a great balance of acidity on the palate. It meshes perfectly with the toasty American Oak and notes of baker's chocolate. The body is full, but silky smooth. The tannins are very refined. I'm pleased to drink this bottle now and put a few in the cellar for future aging. A splendid way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Vina Ardanza!
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    11/28/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    The La Rioja Alta wines have been one of the most overlooked values in the entire wine industry since I can remember, and this 2008 Vina Ardanza is yet another example in a long history of great deals. Not only are you getting a serious Rioja for the money, you're also getting a wine with serious bottle evolution and secondary flavors like iron with savory, meaty undertones. This is a lamb or steak wine without question, and it drinks like some of the $100 - $200 bottles of great older Bordeaux vintages I've had in my lifetime, yet for a fraction of the price. We've sold wines like this from La Rioja Alta before, and we'll continue to sell them in the future. I just hope that each time we bring in a wine this good we continue to initiate more drinkers into the fold. It's not your fruit-laden, silk smooth, California Cabernet. This is old world wine with bottle age and complexity. It's exactly the flavor that makes great wine expensive, even though in this case it's shockingly affordable.
  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    10/23/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    This bottling of Viña Ardanza marks the first vintage where the Garnacha (20%) was sourced from the La Pedriza vineyard in Rioja Baja. The remaining majority of the blend is composed of Tempranillo (80%) sourced from their 30-year-old La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards. An expressive nose of dark and red cherries, plum, and boysenberry; supplemented with notes of vanilla, clove, leather, and tangerine. The palate possesses well-integrated oak, elevated acidity, and silky tannins. Also has a marked freshness for being almost 10 years old. Dried cherries and mixed berries move into tertiary notes of earth, leather, and a noted vanilla and spice characteristic. An age-worthy Rioja that is showing quite nicely at the moment, but will only get better as time goes on. Can easily go for another 10-20 years in the cellar. All this for under $30? Done!
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    8/8/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    One of the new Spanish releases I look most forward to tasting every year is La Rioja Alta's Vina Ardanza. The 2008, celebrating the 75th anniversary of this iconic bottling, is absolutely delicious. In this colder vintage, the red fruit not only seems to have more cut than usual, but more intensity as well. Focused and refined, this bottling is the first featuring Garnacha from La Rioja Alta's Pedriza vineyard, where vines are planted in a bed of pure stones - there is no visible topsoil here. As usual, when this wine is on, we are truly hard pressed to think of a more delicious - or more ageworthy - red in the store for under $50.

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