La Rioja Alta is one of the classic wineries of Rioja. They have three Reserva Wine brands, Alberdi, Arana and Ardanza, and the first time Arana was released was in 2012. So this is the second time that La Rioja Alta’s third Gran Reserva has been released, and they are the only Rioja producer to have three Gran Reservas in their portfolio. In the UK, this is priced at £35 (Armit Wines): it’s not cheap, but it is very well priced for a wine of this quality.
La Rioja Alta Viña Arana Gran Reserva 2014 Rioja, Spain
14.5% alcohol. Three years in barrel and three in bottle. This has amazing aromatics: sweet blackberry and black cherry fruit with dried herbs, tar and spice, as well as some hints of vanilla and coconut, and sweet tobacco, too. The palate is juicy and supple, but also quite profound, showing cherries, berries, spice, sweet herbs, some cedar and coconut from the oak, and a lovely sense of harmony and precision. It’s a ripe wine, but shows such complexity and focus, with everything pulling in the right direction. I’m just so impressed with this wine: in its style – classical Rioja – it is just about perfect, and is beginning to enter a very long drinking window. So complex and layered and refined. 96/100
UK retail: £35 Armit Wines
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