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La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2005

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • W&S91
13.7% ABV
  • JS96
  • RP93
  • D91
  • WS90
  • D95
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • RP94
  • WE90
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • D93
  • RP90
  • WS86
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4.3 37 Ratings
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4.3 37 Ratings
13.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#34 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014

Dark ruby red with an orange tint on the rim. Intense and lively on the nose, with spicy and balsamic aromas, scents of vanilla, coconut shells and black pepper with undertones of blackberries. Well-structured on the palate, perfectly balanced in acidity and alcohol content, with soft and silky tannins. The long aftertaste displays flavors of fresh blackberries along with spicy woody notes.

Blend: 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Cropped from a vintage deemed almost perfect, the 2005 Viña 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. The one bottle I tasted first was a bit evolved with plenty of cigar ash, incense and leather along with hung game (woodcock came to mind). But the palate was drying out a bit. Another bottle showed much fresher, with a great classical Rioja profile. This is very affordable making it a superb value for what it delivers. 600,000 bottles were produced of the prodigious 2005 vintage. This wine is not produced in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 or 2013.
WS 92
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.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
A firm, old-fashioned style of Rioja, this wine bristles with tannins, the fruit taking time to emerge. That fruit is tangy and persistent, handling all of its tempranillo volatility with grace. Pour it with anything from jamón Ibérico to thinly sliced roast pork.
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La Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta

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La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Spain
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Always evolving quality, elegance, innovation, evolution... They are the pillars on which the five founding families erected our winery in 1890 and built a way of living, feeling and producing wines of the highest quality that continue to evolve subtly, perfectly adapting to new tastes. This is how the permanent pursuit of excellence started; a pursuit that continues into the 21st century with identical enthusiasm. We draw the best from our winemaking tradition and wisdom —our own cooperage, manual racking, long ageing periods, etc.— and combine it with the most modern winemaking technology. Today, our wines are an international exemplar of the great wines of Rioja and our brands are present in the best restaurants across all continents.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.

White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

In the Glass

Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.

GSWARDANZA_2005 Item# 132882