2009 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja SKU #1356161

Price: $59.99

JS 97 RP 95 W&S 95
WS 92
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Professional Reviews

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? (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

Staff Reviews

  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    Just a baby but this wine is starting to hit it's stride. Lovely earthy, brooding red to black fruit. Savory leather notes, exotic spice, red dust, dried leaves. Medium bodied with effortless structure and warming fruit on the mid-palate. The wine becomes more lifted and aromatic with time in the glass...crushed red rose petals, and sandalwood notes emerge. Lots of material here, give it time to emerge and you're sure to be impressed. A potential classic.
  • Greg St. Clair
    By: Greg St. Clair
    K&L Staff Member
    The nose is full of a complex blend of raspberry compote, tobacco, dried lilac and the sweet vanillin accented with hints of dill that the American oak gives it. On the palate the wine is long, sinewy and shows a bit of tannic grit but the wine’s density fleshes it out nicely. Lots of spice, fruit and American oak wrap themselves around the core of this wine giving it a dramatic palate presence. On the finish you see the classic Rioja length and spice more earth and a bit of tannin. This wine will age for a long time and I feel it is reaching form food, maybe some braised suckling pig.
    Drink from 2018 to 2034
  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    K&L Staff Member
    La Rioja Alta does it again with another spectacular offering, this time their ‘904’ bottling from the 2009 vintage. Classic aromas of dried cherries and leather, along with American oak bouquet of dill and vanilla. Great acidity on the palate, with a pleasant balance also between the tannin structure and fruit. Quite well integrated, this wine will continue to improve with cellar time, but at just shy of 10 years old, it is drinking nicely at the moment. A fantastic wine with a variety of food offerings. I would recommend this to go with lamb roast. Pork chops or game bird would be also great pairing options
    Drink from 2019 to 2044
  • Gary Westby
    By: Gary Westby
    K&L Staff Member
    The Gran Reserva 904 is one of the greatest wines of Spain, and always stands on the table proudly next to any wine of the world. The 2009 is a special opportunity, as all of the oldest plots, usually reserved for the 890, have been added into it. This wine is a baby, packed, and concentrated with the vanillian tinged dark tempranillo fruit of youth. It is the kaleidoscopic back end that hints at what it will become in the future with blood orange, leather and earth all flaring out on the finish.
    Drink from 2020 to 2059
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    K&L Staff Member
    LRA's 904 bottling is one of, if not the foremost, traditionally styled Rioja Gran Reserva bottling intended for drinking on release, cellaring for the mid, long, or very long term. 2009 was a very good vintage in Rioja, one that benefitted from winter as well as September rains which enabled balanced yet intensely flavored, aromatic wines following a nicely warm and dry summer growing season. If drinking now, please decant or allow this to briefly open up in the glass: the initially strong barrel notes will give way to more layered and subtle fragrance on the nose, and impeccably pure, effortlessly graceful fruit on the palate. A Rioja you cannot be without!
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    I was surprised to see the 2009 904 come into stock already. Then I tasted it and realized it's nearly perfect. At first blush it's upfront vanilla and spice from the 4 years in American oak. Give it a moment and things begin to shift. You progress from dark and ripe tones into a brighter fresher more elegant thing altogether. The acid really makes itself known on the finish, just begging you to pair it with food. A good steak or any braised meat, or especially Jamon Iberico if you can get it. It continues to evolve in the glass flashing mineral intensity, mouthwatering acidity, juicy fruits, and spicy wood in turns and combinations. Like all good Rioja, it will continue this metamorphosis in the cellar and depending on when you're lucky enough to pop the cork you will experience a different iteration of greatness every time.


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