La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2004

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain

Price: $29.99
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Item No. 122145
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • ST92
Style: Earthy & Spicy

Wine Style Guide

Light & Fruity

Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.

Smooth & Supple

Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.

Earthy & Spicy

Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.

Big & Bold

Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.

Alcohol By Volume: 13.6%

Alcohol By Volume Guide

  • 10%
  • 16+%
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Ratings Pedigree:
  • 1996
  • ST89
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Winemaker's Notes

#22 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013

Clean, bright dark-cherry red of medium depth with a pink rim. Notably expressive nose with spicy notes of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and cloves and fine wood aromas against a background of ripe dark fruit. It is a well-structured, balanced wine with a lively, enticing freshness that combines with polished tannins to fill the mouth with pleasurable sensations. Long aftertaste, marked by the subtlety of a brand whose traditional elegance, complexity and aromatic power are particularly enriched in this vintage.

An excellent wine to accompany charcoal-grilled meat, roasts, small game, medium-aged cheeses, Iberian cured sausages, etc.

Critical Acclaim

"Cedar, tobacco and spice hints frame dried cherry, berry and vanilla notes in this silky red. The flavors mingle nicely, framed by juicy acidity and light but firm tannins. The wine has a lovely, weightless intensity. A fine example of the traditional style."
94 Points

"The 2004 Vina Ardanza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from 30-year-old vines in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. It is aged for 36 months in four-year-old American oak. It has a very enticing bouquet with dark cherry, Christmas cake, dried fig and espresso with fine delineation and bags of exuberance. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins, underpinned by a keen citric thread that cuts through the licorice-tinged, dark berry and allspice-tinged fruit with style. It is simply delicious on the bittersweet finish.
Rating: 93+"
93 Points

"Vivid ruby-red. Suave, spicy red fruit preserve and potpourri scents are complicated by notes of vanilla, licorice and mocha. Sappy, focused and energetic, offering sweet raspberry and cherry-cola flavors that are given lift by juicy acidity. Impressively pure and penetrating on the finish, which leaves floral pastille and smoky mineral notes behind."
92 Points

Customer Reviews Sign In to Add Your Own

Style: Rich & Creamy
Best Rioja I've ever had...what a gem! Smooth yet complex with this amazing chocolatey finish. I'm usually a Napa Cab drinker but this will certainly be added to my collection. So delicious that you almost want to enjoy it alone but would be amazing with lamb/steak or some rich French cheese. Heavenly wine choice, you can't go wrong...SHOCKED that there are any bad reviews of this wine at all.
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WIll D - Biloxi, MS (read all my reviews)

5 stars because of the low, low price for a wine of this quality.
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Style: Earth & Spicy
Have to admit, at first taste I wasn't quite sure about this one. Originally was going to give it 4 stars. After letting it sit a few minutes, I was won over. It's very smooth. Maybe a bit spicier than most Tempranillos, But still very good. I purchased the 6 bottle max and look forward to enjoying them all.
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xmercuri - Hickory, NC (read all my reviews)

Style: Big & Bold
This wine won our family's annual blind wine tasting (6 entries). It is absolutely delicious.
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rhall37735 - Carefree, AZ (read all my reviews)

Style: Big & Bold
I purchased 4 bottles of this Rioja. I've only tried one bottle so far and it was excellent. I love Rioja and this is one of the best I've had.
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walktard - Tahoe City, CA (read all my reviews)

From what I've read, there is a lot of bottle to bottle variation. If it has been stored well, I'm guessing it's going to be consistent with the professional ratings. edit-just had a second bottle and it was terrible.
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Style: Earth & Spicy
Pair with: Old boots
First, the cork was of poor quality, tearing during withdrawal. These Rioja wines tend to be oxidized because of the oak ageing, this also imparts wood-tannins (and lignins, furans?). This one is one of three I decided to try after years of not bothering. It is acidic, the nose includes overtones of unpleasant herbaceous aromas and rotting wood. It is big in an artificial way and mouth filling but imbalanced. In a number of years the tannins might soften into something more drinkable but not good. Students of wine grapes will recognize that Tempranillo is a problematic grape at best and it's time for the Rioja to re-examine their regulations and move better grapes and blends. This is the Emperor's new clothes in a bottle. If you like this kind of wine then you can find decent exaples for a fraction of the price.
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Style: Big & Bold
All the bottles from this vintage that I've tried were past their prime.
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TheViking - Princeton, NJ (read all my reviews)

Purchased 3 bottles from Had dinner with friends last night and opened one of the bottles with great anticipation. I must have gotten one of the bad bottles and was very disappointed as I had been looking forward to trying this wine. Hopefully the other two bottles are OK... Very disappointing!
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Henncoop3 - Brookside, NJ (read all my reviews)

Style: Earth & Spicy
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Steven Waldren - Kansas City, MO (read all my reviews)

Style: Smooth & Supple
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mullzoo - Boston, MA (read all my reviews)

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Wendy - San Francisco, CA (read all my reviews)

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rfarouni - Columbus, OH (read all my reviews)

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Adam Z - Brooklyn, NY (read all my reviews)

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Shoblock - Ledgewood, NJ (read all my reviews)

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Style: Smooth & Supple
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Learn About La Rioja Alta Map ItMap It

On the 10th of July 1890, five families shared their passion for wine and founded La Rioja Alta, S.A. That day was the start of an ongoing searching for excellence that their descendants still pursue nowadays. Since then we have managed to get the best from the marriage of our tradition in wine ageing and the state-of-the-art technology in grape fermentation. Nowadays we are an...

Read More About La Rioja Alta

Learn About Rioja

(ree-OH-hah) This highly regarded area of Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha...

Read More About Rioja

Learn About Tempranillo

Tempranillo(temp-ruh-NEE-oh) Grape that Reigns in Spain Most often associated with Spain, Tempranillo is the backbone of wines made in the well-known Spanish regions Rioja and Ribera del Duero. On the scale of light to heavy, Tempranillo lands towards the light side. It tends to be higher in acid and lower in alcohol - common for Old World ...

Read More About Tempranillo

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