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  • "Opulent and delicious yet refined." James Suckling
  • "Elegant, sweet and aromatic..." Tim Atkin MW
  • "The palate feels solid, consistent, nicely built, with abundant tannins and good balancing acidity." Luis Gutiérrez

Tasting Notes

Colour Dark Red
Nose The first impression on the nose is of great freshness provided by notes of cherries and blackcurrants knit with notes of black pepper, tobacco, nutmeg, coffee, caramel and vanilla from barrel ageing.
Palate Pleasant entry. Tasty, with a soft freshness, nice structure, balanced acidity and fine, elegant tannins. Silky finish, with a lovely aftertaste, where liqueur-like notes of blackcurrants intermingle with toasty notes and sweet spices turning this especial edition of Viña Ardanza into a fine, elegant wine.
Food Pairing The ideal partner for roasted and grilled meats, barbecues, poultry and game, Iberian ham and sausages, as well as semi-cured cheeses.
Cellaring 5-10 Years
Notes The Tempranillo grapes (80%) come from the 30-year-old La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards, located in Fuenmayor y Cenicero. For the first time in the blend of this brand, the Garnacha (20%) comes from La Pedriza vineyard in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja) at an altitude of 550 m above sea level.
Variety Tempranillo Blends
Body Medium Bodied
Oak Type American Oak
Vintage 2008
Region Rioja Alta
Country Spain
Sustainability None
Alcohol 13.5%
Bottle Size 750ml (Bottle)
Closure Cork
La Rioja Alta
With headquarters in the same location since built in 1890, alongside Bodegas Muga in the Barrio del Estación, (the old railway quarter of Haro) - La Rioja Alta is one of the most traditional of the regions’s bodegas.

Initially founded as a consortium of five families which included the Aranas, Ardanzas and the Alberdis (each with their own Reservas named after them, the Bodegas now has an impressive portfolio of vineyards totalling well over 600 hectares, throughout the Rioja Alta region, with 475ha in Rioja Alta, over 60ha in the Alavesa, 62ha in the Baja, 75ha in the Galician denominación of Rías Baixas & 95ha in DO Ribero del Duero.

3 wines are produced at Reserva level. Viña Alberdi is 100% Tempranillo, aged 2 years in, and 2 in bottle. Viña Arana is a blend of 95% Tempranillo with 5% Mazuelo and has 3 years in oak and a further 2 in bottle and Viña Ardanza is the most exceptional and rarely produced wine - made only in 1964, 1973, 2001 and 2005 and carries the additional descriptor 'especial'. Whilst the extended maturation in American oak technically allows both both Arana and Ardanza to be classified as gran reserva, this designation is reserved for the final two, the incredible, top-of-the range '904' and '890.'

Over the years the winery outgrew the original site, so a purpose built winery was constructed in 1996 and stands an impressive stone structure a mile down the road from the original site, which now acts as the corporate headquarters.
Rioja Alta
There are three main regions in Rioja, with each of them producing quite unique expressions of Rioja wines. To the west is Rioja Alta, in the higher elevated area. This subregion is renowned for its old-world wines that are often lighter on the palate due to the higher altitude. The wines coming out of Rioja Alavesa on the other hand are fuller bodies, with higher acid levels than those from Rioja Alta. The third area, Rioja Baja is the warmest and driest of all, and can in summer months can be exposed to very high temperatures drought so irrigation is now permitted in the region.

The red (tinto) wines of Rioja are generally blends of Tempranillo and Garnacha with lesser amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo. Amongst the white (bianco) varieties, Viura is the most common though normally blended with Malvasia or Garnacha Blanc. Plenty of interesting Rosé wines are produced, most commonly from the Garnacha variety.

Note that wineries in Spain are commonly referred to as bodegas.
James Suckling
“Very fresh and vivid 2009 with berries, dark spice and hints of walnuts. Full bodied, reserved and so held back and muscular, but you don't feel the tannins and the strength. A great wine. Give it two or three years. Try in 2020.”
Tim Atkin MW
(2008) Using Garnacha from the winery’s own vineyards in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja) for the first time, this is exactly what a traditional pan-regional Rioja blend should taste like, with 80% Tempranillo making up the balance. Elegant, sweet and aromatic, it’s light, refined and slightly gamey, showing the freshness of a cooler vintage. 2017-25
Luis Gutierrez
(2008) Vintages for Viña Ardanza seem to be going fast. It seems like yesterday that the 2001 was released and now the 2008 Viña Ardanza is already here. This is the first vintage when they have been able to use the fruit from their new Garnacha vineyards in the village of Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), La Pedriza, which represents 20% of the blend complementing the majority of Tempranillo. The wine was put in barrel in March 2009, separately; the Tempranillo was in four-year-old barrels for 36 months with six rackings, and the Garnacha in second and third use barrels for 30 months with five rackings. Vintages might go fast, but the wine does not feel too young, which was my fear. There are notes of stewed meat, cured leather, cloves, other spices and an overall balsamic character. The palate feels solid, consistent, nicely built, with abundant tannins and good balancing acidity. This should stand up to food and be able to develop in bottle. No less than 600,000 bottles are produced. I tasted from a bottle from March 2013.

Drink Date: 2017 - 2023


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