Latest release of one of the world's best value fine wines: 2016 Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva 95 pts (JS)
La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza is deservedly one of the most popular fine wines we offer each year. We were reminded of just why that is when we tasted last year's release, the 2015, at a fine wine tasting in London recently. It came after a long line of Italian cult wines, all costing three figures per bottle. Impressive as these were, the Ardanza was such a delight, easily holding its own in such company.
The 2016 has just been released, rated the same quality as the 2015 vintage by Rioja's Conejo Regulador, and with a 95-point score from James Suckling. Although the warmth in 2016 was comparable to 2015, this new release leans more toward elegance and classicism.
Re-tasting it this morning, it's evident what virtuosos the winemakers at La Rioja Alta are, taking each vintage and polishing and refining it, making expert decisions over when and how to rack the wine (moving it from barrel to barrel), to best express the character of the year. It's easy to forget how much added value there is in late-bottled wine styles like this which receive long barrel ageing from the producer, but this Ardanza really displays what a benefit this can be.
The tannins in the 2016 have the refinement of old-school claret or top burgundy. The beginnings of secondary aromas and flavours of mushrooms, walnut and spice alongside the vibrant raspberry fruits suggest this will develop lots of complexity over the next few years.
It is always worth noting that Ardanza wine is aged long enough to qualify as a Gran Reserva, but as La Rioja Alta already have three Gran Reservas, and in order to keep the wine affordable, it is labelled as Reserva. Despite its equal rating and scores, this new vintage is released at £238 per dozen in bond, lower in price than the 2015 (£242). At less than £20 per bottle in bond, we suggest adding as much to your cellar as you can lay your hands on!
Offered en primeur, expected spring 2023.
|RED||2016||13 cases||La Rioja Alta - Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva||75cl||£238 per case of 12||La Rioja Alta
Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva
2016 / 13 cases / 75cl
£238 per case of 12
Tasting Notes"The 2016 Viña Ardanza Reserva was produced with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha that matured in used American oak barrels for three years, where it was hand-racked from barrel to barrel six times in the case of Tempranillo and five times for the Garnacha, as it had a slightly shorter élevage of 30 months. Against all odds, I found the 2016 to be fresher than the 2015 and less developed, despite the fact that winemaker Julio Sáenz told me he considers it a warmer year. But I have found many wines I like in 2016, and the wine feels very clean and quite harmonious, younger and less developed, with more primary notes and a velvety mouthfeel. 600,000 bottles produced. The wine was bottled in June 2020. 94+ points." Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate------"Savory and complex with dried orange peel, cedar and plenty of sweet spices, walnuts, caramel, dried mushrooms and pine needles. Shows maturity here, with a medium body and superb freshness. Incredibly long finish with lots of truffle and walnut. Lasts over a minute. Very complete now, but you can still hold it. 95 points." James Suckling