Vina Ardanza La Rioja Alta 2008
There can be little doubt that La Rioja Alta are well deserving of their place within the rarefied top tier of ‘traditional’ producers (which also includes Lopez de Heredia and Muga); they have, for the past few decades, consistently produced wines of incredible concentration, balance and freshness which drink beautifully from release and long into the future. Alongside their legendary 904 and 890 wines, they also produce the remarkable Vina Ardanza Reserva. Remarkable how? Well, it’s impossible to imagine many other producers or regions who could provide juice of this quality, which has undergone a 3-year oak ageing process – followed by even longer in the bottle before release – for under £15 per bottle and £30 per Magnum In Bond. Technically it is a Gran Reserva, proof that La Rioja Alta is setting up its personal quality level way above the AOC requirements. It shares many stylistic and qualitative characteristics with its bigger brothers 904 and 890, but by contrast, this is ready to drink straight from the off. This is good news for the impatient although it does continue to age beautifully for 5-8 more years.
In a nutshell, this is one of the best value wines on the market: benchmark, gorgeous, ready-to-drink Rioja that’s perfect for the coming months… With 94Pts from James Suckling and 93Pts from Luis Gutierrez, this has to be one of the no brainer of the year…
Luis Gutierrez- “The quality is as good as ever.. Great Rioja, as traditional as it gets, in good quantity and moderate (and often plain great) prices.”
Neal Martin- “Quite simply, these are some of the finest Riojas that can grace your cellar”