2007 Rioja Reserve Under $30 (RP94)

February 9, 2016 90+ Bargains  No comments

thumb_1393_botellas_largeAt our Saturday blind tasting, we tasted through a lineup of 10 different wines, from Chablis to red Burgundy, Paso Syrah to Napa Cabernet.  All of the wines had some debate around them, until I broke out a “bonus bottle”.  Everyone pinned it as well-aged, high-end Rioja – and they were right.  Furthermore, they were impressed.

For Rioja, the 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva from La Rioja Alta is about as traditional as it gets.  A smokey nose of tobacco, dill and vanilla lead to a palate of bright red fruit with excellent length, all at a modest 13.5% alcohol.  The winery doesn’t release this until it’s ready to drink, so consumers have an opportunity to buy an aged (and well stored) Rioja at the surprisingly low price of $30.  In a perfect world, more wineries would release aged wines like this, but holding onto millions, or even tens of millions of dollars worth of wine just isn’t possible for most.

The Wine Advocate gave this wine 94 points further affirming its value.  The similarly rated 2005 vintage is also available at the same price.  Buy a six pack of each and enjoy comparing the two.

Buy Here: 2007 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva $29.95

Buy Here: 2005 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva $29.95

Wine Advocate 94 points

“The 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, the Tempranillo from 30-year-old vineyards La Cuesta and Montecillo in the villages of Fuenmayor and Cenicero, and the Garnacha from old head-pruned vines at 600 meters altitude in Tudelilla, in Rioja Baja, from plots next to their Finca La Pedriza. Those should soon be mature enough to go into the wine (they were planted in 2004 and they will make it into the Ardanza blend from 2007-2008). The grapes are fermented separately with natural yeasts and the Tempranillo then matured in American oak barrels averaging four years old for 36 months, while the Garnacha matured in second- and third-use American oak barrels for 30 months. The nose is very fresh, with notes of beef blood, iron, cherries in liqueur, some subtle leather and spices plus notes of autumn forest and truffles. The palate is more lively and has some tannins that would feel better integrated with some food or a little bit of time in bottle It was bottled in November 2011. This will be released around September/October 2015, so by the time it hits the shelves it will be more polished. Great value for money. 600,000 bottles were produced.

La Rioja Alta celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2015. Last year, I only tasted three wines from La Rioja Alta and I tasted six this time. The quality is as good as ever, with superb wines from the almost-perfect 2005 vintage coming into the market. Great Rioja, as traditional as it gets, in good quantity and moderate (and often plain great) prices.”

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>