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  • An extraordinary vintage - 2005 was officially classed as “Excellent”
  • 92 points, "Focused and fresh, with a juicy finish" - Wine Spectator
  • 17.5/20 points, "Lovely purity. Excellent value." - Jancis Robinson

Tasting Notes

Colour Garnet Red
Nose Intense and lively on the nose, with spicy and balsamic aromas, scents of vanilla, coconut shells and black pepper with undertones of blackberries.
Palate Well-structured on the palate, perfectly balanced in acidity and alcohol content, with soft and silky tannins. The long aftertaste displays flavours of fresh blackberries along with spicy woody notes.
Food Pairing Roasted and grilled meats, barbecues, poultry and game, Iberian ham and sausages, as well as semi-cured cheeses.
Cellaring 10-15 Years
Notes A blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha.
Variety Tempranillo Blends
Body Medium - Full Bodied
Oak Type American Oak
Vintage 2005
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.
Robert Parker
94 points - Cropped from a vintage deemed almost perfect, the 2005 Vina Ardanza Reserva follows the same varietal mix found in the last vintages; 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The grapes are always sourced from the same vineyards, 30-year-old Tempranillo from Fuenmayor and Cenicero in Rioja Alta and Garnacha from Tudelilla in Rioja Baja. In the case of the 2005, it was racked six times during its elevage... This is very affordable making it a superb value for what it delivers... This wine is not produced in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 or 2013...
Jancis Robinson
Tempranillo, Garnacha. Century-old winery dating back to 1890. Tempranillo comes from 35-year old

Rioja Alta vineyards while Garnacha is sourced from Rioja Baja. Hand-harvested, refrigerated transport to the winery. Tempranillo spends 36 months in American oak and Garnacha spends just 30 months in American oak. Six rackings during ageing. Rioja classic style. Fine-looking classic nose, clean oak, spices and leather. It is harmonious, deep and complex. The palate is a great remainder of good old times, smooth, mellowed, long, complex and very well defined. It has lots of tobacco and cigar box flavours. Very elegant wine, still has a great future. (FC) (Drink between 2014-2025) - Jancis Robinson
Wine Spectator
This traditional red offers dried cherry, orange peel, tobacco and sanguine flavors in a silky texture, supported by light, firm tannins and balsamic acidity. Focused and fresh, with a juicy finish. Drink now.
Stephen Tanzer
Deep ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of red fruit preserves, vanilla, mocha and fresh flowers, with a hint of pipe tobacco coming up with air. Sappy and broad on entry, then more taut in the middle, with sweet cherry-vanilla and spicecake flavors given lift by juicy acidity. Closes smooth, spicy and long, with lingering smokiness and fine-grained tannins adding grip. A touch more lively than the excellent 2004 version of this wine and of equal quality, which makes it an outstanding value in old-school Rioja.


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