2010 Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Selección EspecialWednesday, October 2
La Rioja Alta have just released their 2010 Viña Ardanza Reserva. So exceptional is the vintage that it has been classified as a 'Selección Especial', a title awarded by winemakers to their very best wines. Just four previous vintages of Ardanza have been given this honour; 1964, 1973, and 2001. At £210 per dozen in bond, if you have ever bought or considered buying the wines of La Rioja Alta, this is the vintage to add to your cellar.
Rated by Tim Atkin MW as one of Rioja's 'First Growth's', La Rioja Alta needs little introduction. The 2010 Ardanza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, the latter providing structure, aromatics, and concentration. The vines are higher in altitude than most of the Rioja Alta subzone, and sit on barren, free-draining soils made up with large pudding-stones similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The two varieties are harvested and vinified separately, before ageing for up to three years in traditional American oak barrels, made by La Rioja Alta's own cooperage. Racking by hand and by candlelight, La Rioja Alta are one of a handful of producers still to use these traditional techniques. The resulting wines have a developed, supple style which for many epitomises traditional Rioja.
Described as "mesmerizing" by James Suckling (96 points) and as "A great Viña Ardanza!” by The Wine Advocate's Luis Gutierrez (95 points), this wine meets all the requirements to be bottled as a Gran Reserva, with up to three years in barrel before bottling in 2015. Now, 9 years after the harvest, the Selección Especial is ready for you to enjoy this winter, or to cellar for many decades to come.
Immediately available, offered in bond.
2010 Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Selección Especial
“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! 95 points." Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“Dried cherries, cedar, sandalwood, tar, treacle tart, cinnamon and vanilla. Medium body, fine-grained and very silky tannins for a wine of almost 10 years of age, bright and transparent acidity and a long, very spicy finish. Like going back in time and touching an ornate tapestry. The texture is mesmerizing. Drink now. 96 points." James Suckling