Wine Advocate 94 points! James Suckling 95 points!
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva is a gorgeous Spanish red wine gem for the ages from one of the top producers in the renowned Rioja wine region. With more than 50,000 casks and 6.4 million bottles stored at any one time, La Rioja Alta S.A. is unique in its ability to supply large quantities of fully mature wines of world class quality. 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. La Rioja Alta has never let standards slip and continues to this day the tradition of careful long aging that gives Rioja its unique character. These wines offer a wonderfully complex bouquet, rich flavors, a seductively smooth texture, and are all ready to drink on release.
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. It is a brilliant cherry red in color with a gorgeous, complex bouquet. Wild berry aromas predominate, blended with hints of coconut, cinnamon, tobacco and leather. The wine is full-bodied and well structured, with silky and enveloping tannins. Aged for 36 months in 4-year-old American oak barriques, it is well balanced to enjoy now and over the next 25 years. It is long and rich on the finish.
"Garnacha is an important component in the 2012 Viña Ardanza Reserva, where it represents 20% of the blend (the rest is, of course, Tempranillo). 2011 was a difficult vintage for Garnacha, so Viña Ardanza was not produced that year and they jumped from 2010, which had the mention "Selección Especial," to 2012, where it returns to the regular Reserva. The wine is a prototype of polished and aged Rioja with a ruby color with some orange and a developed nose with subtle aromas of decayed leaves, sweet spices and some cherries in liqueur even, quite complex and harmonious. The palate is velvety but rich, with resolved tannins and a fine chalky mouthfeel, sleek and elegant, terribly balanced. The flavors are pure and defined, and there is an overall sense of harmony that I like very much. Brilliant Ardanza! They produced no less than 600,000 bottles of this wine, which is remarkable. It has been in bottle since March 2016, so it's very approachable but should also age nicely in bottle. Drink or keep. Drink 2020-2030"-Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate, 94 points!
Enjoy La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva with roast pork, lamb, grilled steak, paella, and aged cheeses.