Very fresh and vivid 2009 with berries, dark spice and hints of walnuts. Full-bodied, reserved and so held back and muscular, but you don’t feel the tannins and the strength. A great wine. Give it two or three years. Try in 2020.
The current vintage of one of the flagship wines from La Rioja Alta is the 2009 Viña Ardanza Reserva, the second year it has contained 20% Garnacha grapes from their estate vineyards in La Pedriza in the village of Tudelilla in Rioja Baja. The Tempranillo comes from vineyards averaging 30 years of age in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. The hand-harvested bunches were sorted and put in boxes, transferred to the winery at 14 degrees Celsius to be destemmed and crushed, then the grapes fermented in stainless steel, including malolactic. The two varieties were aged separately, 36 months in used American oak barrels for Tempranillo and 30 months for Garnacha, and racked every six months. It was initially closed, shy and serious, riper and a little darker than the 2008 but still very balanced, serious and harmonious. The palate combines power with elegance, with some tannins, focused flavors, some chalky texture and a rustic touch that gives it character. 600,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2014. (LG) 93+
The 2009 Viña Ardanza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from estate vines, vinified separately in stainless steel before being aged in old American oak - the Tempranillo spends 36 months in wood and the Garnacha 30 months, meaning that this wine technically qualifies for Gran Reserva status. Still fairly youthful, it has aromas of vanilla and cedar-tinged macerated cherries, while on the smoothly-textured palate a zesty raspberry acidity provides a spine around which wrap soft red fruits, spicy cedar and fragrant spices. (JB)
Dill scents of American oak seem to point up the gaminess of this delicate, pleasantly green-edged Rioja, with notes of dried flowers, strawberries and mint. It’s a match for mortadella with pistachios.
A plush texture carries cherry, strawberry, vanilla, tea and spice flavors in this traditional red. Light tannins and orange peel acidity keep this lively and focused. Spicy and floral notes linger on the finish. (TM)
Rich with vanilla and cream, backed up by deliciously ripe black fruit and firm, pert tannins. This is holding on to its youth convincingly, and oozes traditional Rioja typicality. 17+/20 points. (RH)
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1970 Bodegas Bilbainas "Viña Zaco" Gran Reserva Rioja (base neck fills) (Previously $150)