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Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial 2016 (1x75cl)

Situated in the historic area of Sardón de Duero in Ribera del Duero is the small, premium artisanal winery of Abadia Retuerta, comprised of a patchwork of 54 individual vineyard plots, each planted with a single variety, and each with starkly different characteristics. Winemaker Pascal Delbeck - proprietor of Château Ausone - has an fascination with international varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc – and he makes great use of them. He is also at the forefront of a movement to get Castillo y Leon - currently Vino de la Tierra - recognised as a DO.

The Selección Especial is Abadia Retuerta's best-known wine worldwide and accounts for some 80% of all their production.

Produced from a selection of the best grapes from each of their vineyards, it combines the richness of a Tempranillo and the elegance of a Cabernet Sauvignon with the strength of a Syrah.

This wine is aged for 16 months in French and American oak barrels. During this time the wood infuses notes of cedar, pastry and notes of toast into the wine.

Tempranillo 100%.

Intense dark garnet color, vivid and bright. The nose shows great aromatic complexity of cherry liqueur notes and subtle nuances of dark chocolate, together with a background of redfruit and blackberries. The palate is warm and delicate, silky tannins enhance its refinement and roundness. Its balanced acidity and surprising freshness are well integrated into a subtle and long finish making this Selección Especial a wine of a sharp elegance.

ABV = 14.5%.

£25.25

Bodegas Benito Urbina Gran Reserva 2004 (1x75cl)

Bodegas Urbina is a winery which has been in the Urbina family for four generations since 1870. The present winery was designed, built and run by the family in 1986 and was created to facilitate producing fine wines.  Urbina has 75 hectares of vineyards located at two main vineyard sites - the first is at Cuzcurrita de Rio Turon, a well-known area for producing Riojas capable of ageing for many years and the others are at Uruñuela, in the heart of the Rioja DOC, which consistently produces wines of great quality and body. The grapes used are from vines aged over 20 years old. The vines are grown in accordance with traditional practices, no herbicides and limited use of pesticides and fungicides. 

Urbina Gran Reserva is a blend of mainly Tempranillo with some Graciano and Mazuelo.

This wine comes from the best grapes from the Estate, all from vines over 40 years old. The wine making team is headed by Pedro Urbina. The wine is undergoes fermentation at 28C followed by a period of maceration of 28 days. The wine is aged for a minimum of 36 months in oak casks with a further 48 months in bottle before release. Only indigenous yeasts are used.

The Urbina Gran Reserva has a splendid ripe, complex nose, is reddish-garnet in colour with harmonious and well-balanced oak and fruit tannins.  It also displays intense rich fruit, great finesse and velvet smoothness on the palate.  It goes perfectly with slow roasted lamb shoulder or with game - particularly duck and pheasant.

ABV = 14.0%.

£23.90

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 (1x75cl)

** ALAS NOW ALL GONE -  WE NOW OFFER THE AWARD-WINNING, HIGHLY-RATED 2011 (click link for product page and here for our comparison of the two vintages). **

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of 2010 Riojas (see blue link below).

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 - March 2019 Decanter review

"I bought six of these and unfortunately I have given three away to friends. We opened it last night and decanted as per the instructions of your shop staff. The wine is truly spectacular and I am working out how to break in to my friend's flat to steal back the wine I gave him. I have never been moved to comment on a bottle of wine by email. Thank you for the spectacular experience. Another 6 please. I won't be as generous with the next lot!"

- regular (anonymous) Perth customer [who ultimately bought another 12]

In case you missed it reaching this page, here's our article on the Decanter review and this wine.

Bodegas Olarra was created in 1973. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Logroño in Rioja Alta, their winery – a Y-shaped building designed to make optimum use of the space for both production and ageing of the wine – is known as “the Cathedral of La Rioja”. From the beginning, the winery has known how to combine the traditional methods of production and ageing with the most advanced modern techniques of viticulture and vinification. A favourable geographic location, gives the vineyards all the ingredients to produce good fruits. Indeed the clay and chalky soil is watered by the rain and the Ebro river. This area also benefits from warm sunshine and the influence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. In 1978, Bodegas Olarra achieved their first Gold medal for a Cerro Añon wine in the tenth International Wines and Spirits Competition in the UK. Numerous awards followed from then on, proof of the outstanding quality of their wines.

Grapes for the Gran Reserva are drawn solely from Olarra vineyards; these are located primarily in Rioja Alta, but also in Rioja Alavesa to a lesser extent. Vines in these vineyards are all grown in the traditional way. The average age of the vines is over 30 years. Most of the vineyards sit on a clay-rich soil in Rioja Alta and on limestone-clay soils in Rioja Alavesa.

Harvests took place later than usual in 2010, well into late October, when the fruit was considered to have reached full ripeness; this slower, steadier ripening accounts for much of the quality of this harvest (generally) and the 2010 Gran Reserva (in the specific). Subsequent selection ensured that only grapes in healthy shape made it through to the vinification process. 2010 was a great year in the history of the quality of grapes on the Olarra estate. 

Tempranillo 80%, Mazuelo 10%, Garnacha 5%, Graciano 5%.

Fermentation and maceration lasted for a total of 19 days and were performed in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 28ºC. Later on, the wine was racked into new French (Allier) oak, 225-litre casks/barricas where the malolactic fermentation took place, followed by a stay on the lees for a little over two months, with regular batonnage.

By the end of that winter, the wine was already being racked into new oak barrels, where it remained for a further six months. After this, the rest of the oak ageing - up to the total 27 months - was conducted in different barrels again: Allier and American (Missouri) oak, all with a medium toast, and with different ages spanning from brand new to 5 years. After fining with egg whites, the wine was bottled and stored in Olarra's bottle cellar for 45 months, before it started to be released.

The Gran Reserva 2010 shows a deep red colour with shades of ruby on the rim of the glass. On the nose, at the time of original release, it revealed a delicate balance between ripe red berry aromas and those of spices and smokiness. Over time, this developmental bouquet has grown more complex, showing aromas of leather, tobacco, coffee beans and raisins. On the palate, it is full and round, thanks to its long period in the bottle. Mouthfeel is as firm, elegant and smooth as one should expect from a great Rioja Gran Reserva, with a surprisingly long and fresh finish.

ABV = 14.0% (NB: the figure stated in the Decanter review is incorrect, based on the value stated on the bottle).

£14.95

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2011 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK! ** 

** THE CERRO ANON RESERVA IS ALSO AVAILABLE AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED **

Awarded 95 points and Gold status at the 2019 IWC (International Wine Challenge) in May 2019.

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2011 - IWC 2019 Decanter review

The 2010 vintage was famously awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of 2010 Riojas (see blue link below).

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 - March 2019 Decanter review

Of the 2010: "I bought six of these and unfortunately I have given three away to friends. We opened it last night and decanted as per the instructions of your shop staff. The wine is truly spectacular and I am working out how to break in to my friend's flat to steal back the wine I gave him. I have never been moved to comment on a bottle of wine by email. Thank you for the spectacular experience. Another 6 please. I won't be as generous with the next lot!"

- regular (anonymous) Perth customer [who ultimately bought another 12]

In case you missed it reaching this page, here's our article on the Decanter review of the 2010 and and the Cerro Añon Gran Reserva overall.

Crucially, you may wish to know how the 2010 and the 2011 compare; customers of the 2010 are naturally asking, "is it as good?We carried out our own tasting and assessment and you can find the results here.

Bodegas Olarra was created in 1973. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Logroño in Rioja Alta, their winery – a Y-shaped building designed to make optimum use of the space for both production and ageing of the wine – is known as “the Cathedral of La Rioja”. From the beginning, the winery has known how to combine the traditional methods of production and ageing with the most advanced modern techniques of viticulture and vinification. A favourable geographic location, gives the vineyards all the ingredients to produce good fruits. Indeed the clay and chalky soil is watered by the rain and the Ebro river. This area also benefits from warm sunshine and the influence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. In 1978, Bodegas Olarra achieved their first Gold medal for a Cerro Añon wine in the tenth International Wines and Spirits Competition in the UK. Numerous awards followed from then on, proof of the outstanding quality of their wines.

Grapes for the Gran Reserva are drawn solely from Olarra vineyards; these are located primarily in Rioja Alta, but also in Rioja Alavesa to a lesser extent. Vines in these vineyards are all grown in the traditional way. The average age of the vines is over 30 years. Most of the vineyards sit on a clay-rich soil in Rioja Alta and on limestone-clay soils in Rioja Alavesa.

Tempranillo 80%, Mazuelo 10%, Garnacha 5%, Graciano 5%.

Fermentation and maceration lasted for a total of 19 days and were performed in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 28ºC. Later on, the wine was racked into new French (Allier) oak, 225-litre casks/barricas where the malolactic fermentation took place, followed by a stay on the lees for a little over two months, with regular batonnage.

By the end of winter, the wine was racked into new oak barrels, where it remained for a further six months. After this, the rest of the oak ageing - up to the total 29 months - was conducted in different barrels again: Allier and American (Missouri) oak, all with a medium toast, and with different ages spanning from brand new to 5 years. After fining with egg whites, the wine was bottled and stored in Olarra's bottle cellar for 43 months, before it started to be released.

See also the blue link below for Olarra's own fiche technique/technical sheet.

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2011 - fiche technique

The Gran Reserva 2011 shows a deep red colour with shades of ruby on the rim of the glass. On the nose, at the time of original release, it revealed a delicate balance between predominantly black fruit and ripe red berry aromas, and those of cedarwood, spices and smokiness. Over time, this developmental bouquet has grown more complex, showing aromas of leather, tobacco, coffee beans and prunes. On the palate, it is full and round, thanks to its long period in the bottle. Mouthfeel is as firm, elegant and smooth as one should expect from a great Rioja Gran Reserva, with a surprisingly long and fresh finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.50

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Reserva 2016 (1x75cl)

** BACK IN STOCK! **

Bodegas Olarra was created in 1973. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Logroño in Rioja Alta, their winery – a Y-shaped building designed to make optimum use of the space for both production and ageing of the wine – is known as “the Cathedral of La Rioja”. From the beginning, the winery has known how to combine the traditional methods of production and ageing with the most advanced modern techniques of viticulture and vinification. A favourable geographic location, gives the vineyards all the ingredients to produce good fruits. Indeed the clay and chalky soil is watered by the rain and the Ebro river. This area also benefits from warm sunshine and the influence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. In 1978, Bodegas Olarra achieved their first Gold medal for a Cerro Añon wine in the tenth International Wines and Spirits Competition in the UK. Numerous awards followed from then on, proof of the outstanding quality of their wines.

The 2016 vintage was officially classified as Very Good by the Rioja Control Board (Consejo Regulador).

The fruit for Cerro Añon Reserva comes from Olarra's vineyards in both Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. Average vine age is around 25 years; the soil patterns in the vineyards are a combination of the well-known limestone/clay/alluvial mixes to be found in most of Central Rioja.

Approximately, the mix of grapes for Cerro Añón Reserva 2016 is 90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano.

See also the blue link below for Olarra's own fiche technique/technical sheet.

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Reserva 2016 - fiche technique

At the time of release, this wine showed a bright crimson red colour. On the nose, aromas of sweet ripe fruit and delicate notes of smokiness. On the palate, tastes of cherry, plum and blackberries combined with gentle clean aromas of oak. Elegant mouthfeel, a full body and a fresh and fruity aftertaste. This wine still has plenty of life in it and should drink very well for the next 10-15 years.

ABV = 14.0%.

£12.70

Bodegas Verum Ulterior Parcela #17 Graciano 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2020 edition feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Bodegas Verum, Ulterior Parcela #17 Graciano 2016 - February 2020 Decanter review

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The origins of the López-Montero family in wine-making and distilling date back to 1788. It was then when the first of their wineries in Tomelloso was registered, which is still on the records at the local archives of the town. In 1963 Juan Antonio López Ramírez and María Victoria Montero established Altosa, a winery and distillery that continues to make and market wines and distilled spirits. In 2005, María Victoria, with her daughter, María Belén, and her sons, Juan Antonio, Pedro José and Elías, created Bodegas y Viñedos Verum. The brand encompasses the wines of the López-Montero family from the best vineyards and terroirs in their property.

Put simply, La Mancha's Bodegas Verum is an organic vineyard which produces mono-varietal wines from both traditional grapes and forgotten indigenous varietals such as Albillo Real and Tinto Velasco.

For this, the Ulterior Parcela #17, a single-vineyard wine from Parcela 17 of the El Romeral vineyard, the grapes are picked by hand, destemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless still tanks, then transferred to old barrels for malolactic fermentation. 10% of the wine is aged in oak demi-muids of 600 liters made of new French oak, the rest in earthen jars (clay) of ~ 5,000 liters for 8 months. After bottling, it is held another 12 months before release.

Verum puts its wines on sale when they are at the optimum moment for consumption;  nevertheless, you can store this wine up to 7 years after harvest.

100% Graciano.

Cherry red with white trim, bright. On the nose it is intense, highlighting a floral character of violets, lavender and other aromatic herbs (typical of ripe Graciano) with a background of black fruit and subtle cocoa. On the palate it is also intense and ripe with smooth/fine-grained tannins that provide structure. There is great persistence that brings back the black fruits and violets, plus a touch of appealing bitterness that adds character.

Or, as DWWA 19 put it:

"Bright and pure purple berry fruit nose with attractive vanilla bean new oak aromas. On the palate, this is sumptuous and rich with generous, fleshy fruit. Very pure and expressive".

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.95

El Circo Garnacha 2018 (1x75cl)

El Circo means 'the circus', and each of the varieties in this range is represented by a different circus performer. The wines are made by the co-operative located in DO Cariñena. A new, modern winery was built in 2002. Winemaker Marcelo Morales Calderon is Chilean, having previously worked for Carmen and Veramonte among others. He came for the 2000 vintage and stayed, as he was excited both by the quality of the fruit and the high standard of the facilities at his disposal.

The soil, where the short bush vines for this Garnacha are grown, is poor. The vines are planted on unirrigated land. The grapes ripen slowly, allowing their full potential to come through.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, with regular pump overs. Maceration took place for 10 to 15 days with natural malolactic fermentation.

100% Garnacha. 

Ruby red with purple hues, this Garnacha has intense aromas of ripe red fruit such as strawberries and cherries followed by a touch of spice. On the palate, it has smooth, firm tannins with a racy acidity and a very fruity finish.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£8.15

El Coto, Coto de Imaz Rioja Gran Reserva 2012 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known of Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker Cesar Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.

Grapes for the two Coto de Imaz wines are picked exclusively from El Coto's estate in Cenicero in Rioja Alta, where the soils are limestone and clay.

The 2012 vintage was marked by drought, which had an effect on both grape volume and grape quality in some places, but also resulted in a significant quantity of very high quality wine. Rains in late September had a positive effect on ripening and harvested grapes were well balanced and healthy. The Rioja Control Board/Consejo Regulador rated the 2012 vintage Very Good.

After harvest, only the best grapes were selected for this wine, as the maceration on the skin lasts for three to four weeks. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 22-27ºC. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The resulting wine was then aged in new French and American oak for a minimum of 24 months before bottling.

The Gran Reserva has a brilliant ruby-red colour with tinges of brick red. Mature and elegant, the wine’s rich aromatic complexity is initially subtle, revealing itself more and more as the wine breathes. Toasted oak nuances and coconut give way to notes of leather and damp earth from bottle ageing. On the palate, silky, rounded tannins accompany fresh red berries, dried raisins and spicy notes. This is a complex wine with exceptional concentration and a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£21.20

Felix Solis Avantis Heredad de Altillo Rioja 2018 (1x75cl)

Spain’s most internationally famous wine region is renowned for creating top quality wines with exceptional ageing ability. It lies in northern Spain, by the side of the River Ebro from which the region’s name derived. Elegance and poise is the hallmark of the wines shaped in this ancient region. The variety of its soils, together with the combination of modern and traditional growing practices allow winemakers to produce a wide range of wines that exhibit different personalities, always within the framework that their long-established Qualified Denominación de Origen demands from them.

The grapes are harvested at just the right moment. A cold maceration process for 48 to 72 hours extracts their skin colour and fruity aromas. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a temperature between 21 and 23 ºC) for 8 to 10 days.

100% Tempranillo.

Deep cherry red colour with touches of violet. Aromas of red fruits, strawberries and flowers that mirror perfectly on its palate. Smooth and fresh fruit on the palate. Long and pleasant finish.

A good companion to rice, pasta with sauce, grilled meat, cheese or salads.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£8.75

Finca Museum Cigales Reserva 2015 (1x75cl)

Finca Museum is based in Cigales, a small DO located in Castilla y León, east of Valladolid. Although the area was once known for its dry rosados, it is the Tinta del País, a thicker skinned Tempranillo, that excels today. The continental climate of Cigales (with temperatures reaching 40°C in the summer, even at 700 metres altitude) and the soils poor in organic matter combine to ensure low yields and great wines. The vines are on average 40 years old and one of the reasons they have survived is because the soils are too poor to grow other crops such as cereal. As the name suggests, the winery is also a museum, with sculpture and paintings dating back to the 17th century.

The Museum Reserva is made from dry-farmed bush vines that are over 70 years old, planted at an altitude of 750 metres above sea level. The yields are extremely low, between 1 - 2.5 tonnes per hectare, giving the wine outstanding concentration and intensity. Soils are very poor, with layers of gravel, sand, limestone and chalk over clay, which also leads to intensely flavoured grapes.

Budbreak arrived early in the spring. During the flowering stage, a change in weather conditions brought rain and wind and produced significant coulure which meant a 30% reduction in production. The summer was very dry and warm, helping the remaining grapes to ripen fully. The vintage started quite early, with ideal conditions for harvesting high quality grapes.

The grapes were hand harvested into small crates to avoid them being crushed before they reached the winery. Grapes were sorted manually in the winery and then de-stalked. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at 27 - 30ºC. It continued for 15 days with pumping over for maximum extraction of flavour and colour. Next, the wine spent 20 months in new French oak barrels giving it complexity, roundness and harmony.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Museum.

Finca Museum Cigales Reserva 2015 - fiche technique

100% Tempranillo.

Deep ruby red in colour, this wine opens with aromas of red berries, blackcurrants and cranberries. The red fruit continues onto the palate, and is accompanied by hints of savoury spice and liquorice. The finish is long, with hints of roasted hazelnut.

ABV = 14.5%.

£17.45

Finca Villacreces Pruno, Ribera del Duero 2017 (1x75cl)

The stunning Finca Villacreces estate is located in Quintanilla de Onesimo on the 'golden mile', in the heart of Ribera del Duero DO. The 155 hectare property is bordered by the River Duero to the north and by the vineyards of Vega Sicilia to the west. It was purchased by Lalo Antón of Izadi in 2003 to add further scope to their wine portfolio. The vineyards are now farmed organically, with canopy management and natural treatments used instead of artificial chemicals. As expected, Tempranillo is the mainstay of the vineyards, with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also planted.

Grapes for Pruno are only taken from Finca Villacreces’ own vineyards, from slightly younger vines. Until recently, the estate sold this production to some of the high profile wineries in the region. Now that the vines have reached between 10 and 15 years of age, the Izadi family has begun to handpick and vinify the grapes themselves. The vineyards have a mixture of soils: sandy, gravel, shingle and quartz. The vineyards are planted with about 90% Tempranillo (mostly on the sandy vineyards, which give an attractive fleshiness to the wines) and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (mostly on the quartz and shingle, giving more mineral complexity). Organic practises are used as much as possible and the close proximity of the river helps protect against frost. Work is currently being undertaken in the vineyards to raise the height of the canopy to obtain riper, healthier grapes.

The harvest in 2017 was challenging across the whole of Spain with Ribera del Duero being no exception. Growers contended with spring frosts and summer hail which resulted in lower yields. However, the low rainfall meant grapes were perfectly balanced in sugar and acidity.

The Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were fermented separately in small stainless steel tanks. The two varieties were then aged separately in fine-grained, second and third-year French oak barrels (Taransaud and Darnajou) for 12 months after which the final blend was assembled and the wine bottled.

See blue link below for the estate's own fiche technique/technical note on the Pruno 2017.

Finca Villacreces Pruno, Ribera Del Duero 2017 - fiche technique

This wine is deep, black cherry in colour. Aromas of red fruit with oaky toffee hints from the ageing in French barrels give way to a sweet and fruit-driven wine on the palate. With elements of ripe fruits and liquorice, this wine has a pleasant and soft finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.75

Franck Massard Licis 2015 (1x75cl)

Decanter said of the 2013, "Beguiling nose of mint chocolate ushers in flavours of blackberries dipped in dark chocolate, along with notes of mint, thyme and a seasoning of spicy oak. Humble, original and very long" ...

... and "bold style: dense, brooding and black, with impressive breadth. Classy without overwhelming, and fully mature" of the 2014.

Franck Massard was ranked the Best Sommelier in the UK in 1996. In 2004, Franck acquired a vineyard in Spain’s Priorat region and from there, began the journey and dream of creating wines with a real sense of place from lesser known regions like Ribeira Sacra, Terra Alta, and Valdeorras.

He sought out vineyards in marginal climates where the vines ripen slowly from century-old vines, some of which had been abandoned due to the excessively low yields however these same vines were producing fruit of outstanding quality.

Licis is the name of the tiny single plot in north-west Spain where the grapes are grown and harvested to make this elegant red wine.

The grapes are sourced in the area of Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, surrounding the village of Sober which has schist(ose) soils. It has steep slopes with a southern orientation, situated at 350m of altitude, with a continental climate. The age of the vines is 50 years. The harvest is conducted by hand in 18kg cases, and usually takes place at the end of September.

100% Mencia. 

This wine offers straightforward fruit; raspberry, cherry, violets, lavender and dry roses. An extremely well-balanced wine which displays fresh and intense aromas with soft tannins.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£22.25

La Rioja Alta (Seleccion Especial) Vina Ardanza Reserva 2010 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK! **

Note new bottle, label and slightly-altered name to this classic wine, because ...

"With the release of the 2010 vintage, what is particularly interesting is that the words Selección Especial have been added to its label. This makes it the fourth vintage in the wine’s 78-year history, after the great vintages of 1964, 1973 and 2001, to be given this elevated status (the first three were simply called Reserva Especial, but it’s the same thing). I’m not surprised that the 2010 has reached this level. Since tasting Contino Reserva 2010 a couple of years ago, followed by a broad array of riojas from different producers – both classical and modern – I’ve believed that there’s something special about the 2010 vintage. Indeed, I think that the consistency of quality of 2010s is high enough that you’d be unlucky to pick a bad example". Tim Jackson MW, www.jancisrobinson.com, 7 Feb 2020, click here for article (JR subscribers only)

___

Awarded a heady 18+ points (of 20) by Jancis Robinson (www.jancisrobinson.com) in her May 2020 article on LRA's UK importer (see blue link below)

La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2010 - May 2020 Jancis Robinson review

___

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) - reviewer Sarah Jane Evans - in their Feb/March 2020 article on La Rioja Alta: the art of ageing (see blue link below)

La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2010 - March 2020 Decanter review

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"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. Drink 2018-26. 95 points". Tim Atkin MW

___

Quality, elegance, innovation, evolution... They are the pillars on which the five founding families erected La Rioja Alta winery in 1890 and built a way of living, feeling and producing wines of the highest quality that continue to evolve subtly, perfectly adapting to new tastes. This is how the permanent pursuit of excellence started; a pursuit that continues into the 21st century with identical enthusiasm. They draw the best from their winemaking tradition and wisdom — their own cooperage, manual racking, long ageing periods, etc — and combine it with the most modern winemaking technology. Today, La Rioja Alta wines are an international exemplar of the great wines of Rioja.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at La Rioja Alta.

La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza 2010 - fiche technique

80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha.

Medium-high intensity, garnet–red with a cherry rim. The nose stands out for its fresh, spicy character, with hints of sweet cherries, redcurrants and ripe strawberries assembled with notes of black pepper, sweet liquorice, nutmeg, coffee, mocha and cinnamon. Intense and well-balanced in the mouth, with a soft freshness, nice structure, and delicately elegant tannins. Silky finish, with a good aftertaste, where sweet red fruit and balsamic notes give it a broad ending.

ABV = 13.5%.

£25.45

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011 (1x75cl)

** MORE STOCK ARRIVING BY 30th JULY **

See the article below from Drinks Business on the release of this vintage of the 904.

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011 - DB release article

The 2009 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2020 edition producer profile of La Rioja Alta (see blue link below).

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2009 - March 2020 Decanter review

Also awarded 97 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article on the Top 40 Tempranillos (see blue link below).

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2009 - March 2019 Decanter review

Quality, elegance, innovation, evolution... They are the pillars on which the five founding families erected La Rioja Alta winery in 1890 and built a way of living, feeling and producing wines of the highest quality that continue to evolve subtly, perfectly adapting to new tastes. This is how the permanent pursuit of excellence started; a pursuit that continues into the 21st century with identical enthusiasm. They draw the best from their winemaking tradition and wisdom — their own cooperage, manual racking, long ageing periods, etc — and combine it with the most modern winemaking technology. Today, La Rioja Alta wines are an international exemplar of the great wines of Rioja.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at La Rioja Alta (note an obvious glitch with the ABV figure, however).

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011 - fiche technique

Rioja Alta’s Gran Reserva 904 stands out for its remarkable complexity and outstanding ageing potential. It is a classic Rioja which is released only in exceptional vintages: 2011 was rated Excellent by the Rioja Control Board (Consejo Regulador).

Intense, deep cherry-red with a garnet-red rim. Intense and complex aromas, dominated by fruit (blackberry jam, raspberries and orange zest) that reveals underlying spicy and balsamic notes of cigar box, cedar liquorice, cloves, chocolate mints and toasted wood. Elegantly refined entry. Fresh and lively in the mouth, nicely balanced with polished, silky tannins and a gentle, delicate finish. Very long aftertaste, with citrus and balsamic notes that provide long, complex final sensations.

ABV = 14.5%.

£45.95

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 (1x75cl)

Also available with gift box (click this link).

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition's Spurrier's Fine Wine World (see blue link below).

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 - August 2019 Decanter review

Quality, elegance, innovation, evolution... They are the pillars on which the five founding families erected La Rioja Alta winery in 1890 and built a way of living, feeling and producing wines of the highest quality that continue to evolve subtly, perfectly adapting to new tastes. This is how the permanent pursuit of excellence started; a pursuit that continues into the 21st century with identical enthusiasm. They draw the best from their winemaking tradition and wisdom — their own cooperage, manual racking, long ageing periods, etc — and combine it with the most modern winemaking technology. Today, La Rioja Alta wines are an international exemplar of the great wines of Rioja.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at La Rioja Alta.

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 - fiche technique

The Arana 2012 is a brand new Gran Reserva from La Rioja Alta to complement its fabled 890 and 904 labels. It is not a rebadge of the Arana Reserva (although LRA have made that trickier to explain by plumping for a name already in use!), using, as it does, a different blend of grape varieties and drawn from different vineyards. The wine was named after one of the families that have long been at the helm of La Rioja Alta, a company founded in 1895. This wine will replace the original Arana Reserva, whose last vintage was 2011, and will only be made in vintages that meet the winemaker’s high standards.

For a tabulated explanation of how the three LRA Gran Reservas differ, click this link.

For a press story (Drinks Business) of early April 2019 of the release of the new Arana Gran reserva, click this link.

For LRA's marketing presentatation of this new wine, click this link - (**LARGE FILE - may take a while to download**).

95% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano.

Dark-cherry red with a garnet-red rim. High aromatic intensity, with outstanding notes of ripe red fruit, red berries, wild strawberries and plum jam, leading to tertiary aromas from meticulous aging in oak: vanilla, cedar, tobacco, coffee, caramel and sweet patisserie notes. In the mouth, its initial freshness and structure, typical of this brand, predominate. Balanced, with soft, flavoursome tannins. Elegant, complex finish, where the ripe red fruit and balsamic notes provide a splendid end.

ABV = 13.5%.

£30.50
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