***Note from the Wine Director: Seriously. Buy cases. This wine is delicious on release and will age for decades, even generations. For the price, there is hardly a better wine to cellar, especially given its accessibility throughout its life. This will be the best buy of 2019. Period.***
We’re thrilled to announce a HUGE release from La Rioja Alta–the 2010 Reserva Especial “Viña Ardanza”. How big of a deal is this? Well, the estate has only produced a Reserva Especial three times in their history before: 2001, 1973 and 1964. 2010 was magnificent in Rioja–the wines are characterized by brilliant intensity and focus–and it’s the highest rated vintage since Wine Spectator began reviewing them in 1994.
Recently awarded a hot 95 points from Wine Advocate and being offered at a cool $32 this baby is going to GO FAST. Don’t miss this unbelievable value from this legendary Spanish estate!
2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Reserva Especial "Viña Ardanza"
“2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza! They have managed to produce 600,000 bottles of this—and apparently in one single lot. It was bottled in May 2015.” 95 Points, Wine Advocate
More About the Wine
Armed with three hundred hectares of estate-owned vineyards, their own cooperage, and a century-old winery holding 51,000 casks and 6.4 million bottles stored at any one time–the equivalent of roughly 8 years of sales–of course La Rioja Alta is considered one of the grand jewels of Spain.
Unsurprisingly, the wines are made in the traditional Rioja manner. Everything is harvested by hand. Fermentation comes naturally. Malolactic is never sped up, concluding when it naturally finishes. The wines are never filtered before bottling, either. Perhaps most impressive, all racking is accomplished by hand every six months with eight teams working full time racking all 51,000 casks. At a moment when the wine industry is obsessed with efficiency and increased automation, this detail is important to accentuate. La Rioja Alta won’t cut corners, and their upholding tradition shows in the superb quality of their wine.
The 2010 "Viña Ardanza" is composed with a majority of Tempranillo (80%) which is produced from thirty-year-old vines from their La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards, located in Fuenmayor y Cenicero. Historically, for the first time ever, the Garnacha is sourced from a new site for the label–a La Pedriza vineyard in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja) at an altitude of 550 meters above sea level. The move worked well for La Rioja Alta. Awarded 96 points by Suckling, 95 points by Wine Advocate and 94 points Wine Spectator, the critics are going crazy for this highly acclaimed, historical release. My oh my…we strongly recommend you experience this dazzling wine before it disappears!