Colour: Medium-depth cherry-red with a pale pink rim.
Nose: Very intense, clean aromas, with dominating balsamic and spicy notes —vanilla, caramel, chocolate mint and spices against a fruity background of prunes and dried apricots.
Palate: Well balanced in the mouth, with an elegant acidity, good structure, round, polished tannins and an oily finish. The aftertaste is ample and very long, with notes of sweet fruit and marked liquorice.
Grape Varieties: 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
Ageing: American oak barrels (made in-house) with an average age of 3 years
Awards: 94pts – Wine Spectator; 96pts – Wine Enthusiast; 92pts – Wine & Spirits Magazine 2017
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.