2007 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza
Since 1890, La Rioja Alta, S.A. has been making wine in Rioja. The five families that organized the company remain involved, surviving and thriving through two major European wars, phyloxera, and the Franco era.
This is the 74th (!) vintage of Viña Ardanza. After 127 years of wine-making, the folks at La Rioja Alta have figured out that their style of wine takes a little time to mature. The 2007 is ready to open, with plum, tobacco, spice and cocoa.
"The 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, the Tempranillo from 30-year-old vineyards La Cuesta and Montecillo in the villages of Fuenmayor and Cenicero, and the Garnacha from old head-pruned vines at 600 meters altitude in Tudelilla, in Rioja Baja, from plots next to their Finca La Pedriza. Those should soon be mature enough to go into the wine (they were planted in 2004 and they will make it into the Ardanza blend from 2007-2008). The grapes are fermented separately with natural yeasts and the Tempranillo then matured in American oak barrels averaging four years old for 36 months, while the Garnacha matured in second and third-use American oak barrels for 30 months. The nose is very fresh, with notes of beef blood, iron, cherries in liqueur, some subtle leather and spices plus notes of autumn forest and truffles. The palate is more lively and has some tannins that would feel better integrated with some food or a little bit of time in bottle It was bottled in November 2011. This will be released around September/October 2015, so by the time it hits the shelves it will be more polished. Great value for money."
The Wine Advocate, 94 points
"Brilliant red. Lively, oak-spiced raspberry and cherry scents are complemented by candied rose and vanilla, with a smoky mineral topnote providing added lift. Sappy and seamless on the palate, offering juicy red fruit, mocha and coconut flavors plus a suggestion of sweet chewing tobacco. In a graceful, approachable style, finishing with strong, thrust and silky, late-arriving tannins. While this suave Rioja is quite enjoyable now, I'd give it some more time in the cellar so that the American oak is able to integrate with the wine's fruit."
Vinous, 92 points
80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha
Alcohol: 13.5% Vol.
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