"Vina Ardanza" La Rioja Alta 2009
La Rioja Alta havefor the past few decades, consistently produced wines of incredible concentration, balance and freshness which drink beautifully from release and long into the future. But they are also very much focused towards the future, having heavily invested in improving their vineyards and winery, including an optical sorting table. 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 £16 per bottle In Bond. Technically it is a Gran Reserva, proof that La Rioja Alta is setting their 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 95Pts from Tim Atkin and 93+Pts from Luis Gutierrez, the Ardanza 2009 will again sell out very quickly.
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”
- Sold Out!
Tasting Notes and Scores
Ardanza is a classic, pan-regional Rioja, blending Tempranillo from the Rioja Alta with 20% Garnacha from Tudelilla in the Rioja Oriental. It’s a richer, plusher wine than the 2008, reflecting the warmer vintage, but it’s not remotely ponderous. Floral, fine and very complete with fennel and sweet Asian spices, tangy acidity and deftly handled American oak. 2018-26. - Tim Atkin
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. - The Wine Advocate #235, Luis Gutierrez, February 2018