Colour: Garnet red with a cherry rim.
Nose: 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.
Palate: 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. Pairs best with roasted lamb, red meats, barbecues, large game, spicy fish casseroles, smoked and aged cheeses.
Grape Varieties: 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha
Ageing: The ageing was done separately: the Tempranillo for 36 months with six manual rackings in American oak barrels averaging 4 years in age and the Garnacha for 30 months with five manual rackings in American oak barrels with two and three wines. The final blend took place after barrel ageing was completed.
Awards: 94pts – Wine Spectator; 95pts – Wine Advocate-Parker; 93pts – Wine Enthusiast; Silver – International Wine & Spirit Competition 2019
History of La Rioja Alta
La Rioja Alta is one of the foremost estates in the Rioja region, formed in 1890 by five Riojan and Basque families. It is particularly known for its classically-styled, spicy Gran Reserva reds that can age gracefully for many decades. The winery shares its name with the Rioja Alta (Upper Rioja) subregion in which many of its operations are based. The estate consists of around 400 hectares (1000 acres) of vineyards around Rioja, planted predominantly to Tempranillo, but with a wealth of other varieties including Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo.
La Rioja Alta’s top wine is the Gran Reserva 890. It is made from selected clusters and is aged for around six years in first-use barrels. The Gran Reserva 904, the second wine, is aged for four years in oak and has a similar proportion of Tempranillo than the 890 – around 90 percent. La Rioja Alta also makes a range of wines at Reserva level, and the Viña Ardanza, which has a higher proportion of Garnacha. Two other wines, the Viña Arana and the Viña Alberdi, complete the range.