This is a deeply impressive Rioja Reserva from La Rioja Alta, which is ageing beautifully. 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. Tempranillo comes from the 30 year old Viña Ardanza vineyard in Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta, while the Garnacha is from Rioja Baja. 14 day fermention in stainless steel, and the another 21 days for malolactic in tank, and then goes to American oak barrels for 3 years with six rackings. This is just the third Reserva Especial, following 1964 and 1973 (the next after this is 2010).
La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001 Rioja, Spain
13.5% alcohol. This is in a beautiful place right now: lovely taut fruit with a touch of wild strawberry, plum and cherry, and a mellow but structured underpinning of spice, vanilla and cedar, with wonderfully complex aged notes of earth and woodsmoke, together with a hint of tar. This is benchmark Rioja, and it has a long life ahead of it. But it is delicious now. Thrilling. 95/100
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