On July 10,1890, five Basque and Rioja-based vine growers created "Sociedad Vinicola De La Rioja Alta" in what is known as the Haro Station District. This was the beginning of a fascinating business venture in which the only dream of the five founders was to craft and age high quality wines. The European spirit which is so popular today was present in La Rioja and in our winery from the very beginning. Mr Vigier, a French expert, was hired as technical manager and we were soon familiar with what is now known as “classic” production. In 1941 the company took on its present name, LA RIOJA ALTA, S.A. A year later, when Leandro Ardanza Angulo was chairman of the board, we registered the brand name to which we most owe our fame and renown: "Viña Ardanza". At the time, casks were manufactured entirely in the winery by a team of five coopers. In 2002, we returned to this tradition and now manufacture our own casks with wood imported from the U.S. and dried for 2 years in our coopery.
In 1970, a new cask hall was built and we started to increase our vineyards, buying several estates. This was the time when new brands were introduced, such as Viña Arana and Viña Alberdi. This was when the Club de Cosecheros was created, a new and daring way of conceiving the relationship between our clients and the winery. The Harvesters’ Club was created and continues to grow based on one thing: trust.
In 1985, we registered a brand name which was to become very popular in the future: "Marqués de Haro". At the same time, we stopped making the last young wines supplied by the winery, searching for a white wine with a great personality and different than other Spanish wines. On January 16, 1996, work started on the new Labastida winery, located on our own estates just 1,500 metres from the Haro winery. This new facility enabled us to considerably improve the quality of the wines made by La Rioja Alta SA, especially with regards to the fermentation process.
1997 Gran Reserva 904 Tasting note|
1997 Gran Reserva 904 Producer Tasting note
2000 Gran Reserva 904 Tasting note|
2000 Gran Reserva 904 Producer Tasting note
2001 Gran Reserva 904 Tasting note|
2001 Gran Reserva 904 Producer Tasting note
2004 Gran Reserva 890 Tasting note|
2004 Gran Reserva 890 Producer Tasting note
2004 Gran Reserva 904 Tasting note|
2004 Gran Reserva 904 Producer Tasting note
2004 Vina Ardanza Reserva Tasting Note|
2004 Vina Ardanza Reserva Producer Tasting Note
2005 Gran Reserva 890 SE Tasting note|
2005 Gran Reserva 890 Seleccion Especial Producer Tasting note
2005 Gran Reserva 904 Tasting note|
2005 Gran Reserva 904 Producer Tasting note
2006 Vina Arana Reserva Tasting Note|
2006 Vina Arana Reserva Producer Tasting Note
2007 Vina Ardanza Reserva Tasting Note|
2007 Vina Ardanza Reserva Producer Tasting Note
2009 Gran Reserva 904 Tasting Note|
2009 Gran Reserva 904 Producer Tasting Note
2009 Vina Arana Reserva Tasting Note|
2009 Vina Arana Reserva Producer Tasting Note
2009 Vina Ardanza Reserva Tasting Note|
2009 Vina Ardanza Reserva Producer Tasting Note
Grenache (pronounced gren-aash) (Spanish: Garnacha, IPA: [ɡarˈnatʃa]; is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, the south of France, and California's San Joaquin Valley. It is generally spicy, berry-flavored and soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content, but it needs careful control of yields for best results. It tends to lack acid, tannin and color, and is usually blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan, Tempranillo and Cinsaut.
Grenache is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhône wines, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape where it is typically over 80% of the blend. In Australia it is typically blended in "GSM" blends with Syrah and Mourvèdre. Grenache is also used to make rosé wines in France and Spain, notably those of the Tavel district in the Côtes du Rhône. And the high sugar levels of Grenache have led to extensive use in fortified wines, including the red vins doux naturels of Roussillon such as Banyuls, and as the basis of most Australian fortified wine.
A high quality Red Wine Grape that is grown all over Spain except in the hot South - it is known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha and Valdepenas and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia. Its spiritual home is in Rioja and Navarra where it constitutes around 70% of most red blends.
Tempranillo based wines tend to have a spicy, herby, tobacco-like character accompanied by ripe strawberry and red cherry fruits. It produces fresh, vibrantly fruit driven "jovenes" meant for drinking young. However Tempranillo really comes into its own when oak aged, as with the top Riojas where its flavours seem to harmonise perfectly with both French and American oak, producing rich, powerful and concentrated wines which can be extraordinarily long-lived.
In Ribera del Duero it generally sees less oak - the exception being Vega Sicilia where it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and then aged for an astonishing 7 years in oak and is unquestionably one of the world`s greatest wines.
|96/100||The 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial Rioja Reserva is an absolute blinder. The blend comprises 80% Tempranillo from the La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards and 20% Grenache from the La Pedriza vineyard in Rioja Baja. It was picked mid-October, aged for 36 months in four-year-old American oak (six months less for the Grenache) and bottled in 2015. It was so highly regarded by the team at La Rioja Alta that they deemed it “Selección Especial” instead of “Reserva Especial.” The bouquet is like an old friend inviting you into their home. Crushed strawberry, leather and a touch of game are all beautifully defined, and after an hour the nose became increasingly Burgundy in style. That Burgundy theme translates across to a palate that is supremely well balanced and so harmonious that it was almost too easy to drink. There are hints of chestnut and shavings of black truffle on a finish that fans out gently. This is a finely crafted and irresistible Rioja Reserva from one of the region’s best producers, and frankly, I will not taste a bottle that represents better value for money than this!|
|96/100||Dried cherries, cedar, sandalwood, tar, treacle tart, cinnamon and vanilla. Medium body, fine-grained and very silky tannins for a wine of almost 10 years of age, bright and transparent acidity and a long, very spicy finish. Like going back in time and touching an ornate tapestry. The texture is mesmerizing.|
|95/100||2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza!|