Colour: Medium depth, cherry–red with a ruby rim.
Nose: The nose stands out for its strong expression of red fruit: raspberries, cranberries, red plums and mint underscored with notes of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, liquorice and white pepper.
Palate: Impressively fresh entry. Balanced, with good acidity, soft tannins and marked notes of red fruit. Good fruit expression and balsamic notes from the oak ensure a long, pleasant finish. Great with sausages, snacks, starters, hefty first courses and meats in general.
Grape Varieties: 100% Tempranillo
Ageing: Aged for 16 months in new American oak barrels (60%) and two-year French oak barrels (40%).
Awards: 90pts – Wine Spectator; 90pts – Guia Penin
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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.