La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Seleccion Especial Reserva 2010 (750ml)

La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Seleccion Especial Reserva 2010 (750ml)

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2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza! They have managed to produce 600,000 bottles of this—and apparently in one single lot. It was bottled in May 2015. Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker Wine Advocate

The 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial Rioja Reserva is an absolute blinder. The blend comprises 80% Tempranillo from the La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards and 20% Grenache from the La Pedriza vineyard in Rioja Baja. It was picked mid-October, aged for 36 months in four-year-old American oak (six months less for the Grenache) and bottled in 2015. It was so highly regarded by the team at La Rioja Alta that they deemed it “Selección Especial” instead of “Reserva Especial.” The bouquet is like an old friend inviting you into their home. Crushed strawberry, leather and a touch of game are all beautifully defined, and after an hour the nose became increasingly Burgundy in style. That Burgundy theme translates across to a palate that is supremely well balanced and so harmonious that it was almost too easy to drink. There are hints of chestnut and shavings of black truffle on a finish that fans out gently. This is a finely crafted and irresistible Rioja Reserva from one of the region’s best producers, and frankly, I will not taste a bottle that represents better value for money than this: cases of 12 at just over £200 in bond. Neal Martin, Vinous

Region: Rioja, Spain

Grape Varietal: 80% Tempranillo , 20% Garnacha

Critic Rating: Robert Parker Wine Advocate 95 Points, Vinous 96 Points

Suggested Drink Window: 2019 - 2035