2009 La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Reserva
The 2009 Viña Arana Reserva is mostly Tempranillo with some 5% Mazuelo (Cariñena), with a long aging in oak barrels (three years with six manual rackings). It's a polished and soft red, classic Rioja. Translucent and bright with some orange around the edges, it feels light and tertiary with balsamic aromas of cigar ash and incense, spicy and developed. The palate is consistent, medium-bodied, with fine tannins and fully developed. Ready to go. Wine Advocate
The Bodega was formed in 1890 as a partnership of 5 quality-conscious growers keen to exploit the export potential for well-made, ‘modern’ Rioja. At this time, French vineyards were ravaged by phylloxera, and connoisseurs were having to look elsewhere for supplies of fine wine. Rioja, with its excellent climate and soils, had already attracted attention, and experiments with Bordeaux-style vinification and barrique-aging were proving very successful. The region’s only real disadvantage was its remoteness, cut off from the lucrative markets to the north by the same mountains that ensured its favorable climate. This problem was solved by construction of the rail link to Bilbao, and it is no coincidence that Bodegas La Rioja Alta was established next to the Haro railway station in the same year it opened.
96 Points, James Suckling
"This is a powerful and rich red with black truffle and blueberry character. Sweet tobacco, too. Full body, tannic and flavorful. Yet open and polished. Fantastic finish. Great ageing potential. Drink or hold."
95% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo (Carignan)
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