Stars of the La Rioja Alta Winery
Vina Arana, Rioja Reserva 2004, 13%, €11.92 at the boutique.
As we sipped our glass (€2.00), we were told that 2004 was a very good year and that the blend is 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo. It is produced in Haro in a Bordeaux style and was originally known as Rioja Claret.
Colour is a dark cherry red with intense berries on the nose. Drinking from the bottle at home, I found it a smooth fruity medium bodied wine, with pleasant spice and silky tannins. For sure, this is an elegant Rioja with a pleasing aftertaste and excellent length. Highly recommended. Available at Mitchell’s €22.95.
Vina Ardanza, Reserva 2004, Rioja DO, 13.5%, €15.49 at the boutique.
Made from Tempranillo (80%) and Garnacha, this too has the dark cherry colour with an intense nose of berries, some spice. It is full bodied, a superb combination of power and elegance and comes with a long finish. This ticks all the boxes, even those above 90. Amazing and very highly recommended.
Also look out for the 2001, as they told me that it is amazing and, released in 2009, is available in Ireland with a Reserva Especial on the label. By the way, the tasting glass cost €2.40.
The 2001 is available at Mitchell’s €26.95