“Based on my early look at the vintage I'll go out on a limb and call '11 a cross between 2010 and 2009, combining the precocious character of '09 and the focus of '10.” Antonio Galloni Vinous
The 2011 Vintage has been officially rated as “Excellent” by the Rioja authorities, only the 14th time this has happened in 86 years. There will not be another release of the 904 Gran Reserva until 2023.
“Quite simply, these are some of the finest Riojas that can grace your cellar” Neal Martin
La Rioja Alta was founded by five families at the end of the 19th century and is still run by their descendants today. They are one of the last bastions of the traditional style of Rioja having been producing wine for over 125 years. Indeed, ‘904’ marks the date of this wine’s first vintage.
Gran Reserva 904 is a blend Tempranillo from vines over 60 years old planted in Briñas, Labastida and Villalba, and Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard in the municipality of Fuenmayor. In March following vintage the wine is transferred to 4-year-old American oak barrels (made in-house), where it stays for up to 5 years. During aging, the wine is racked by candlelight every six months using traditional barrel-to- barrel methods. The final blend is then bottled at 5 to 6 years from vintage.
This wine is a manifestation of La Rioja Alta’s combination of historic techniques and cutting-edge development. The grapes are sorted first by hand in the vineyard, and then by an optical laser-guided machine that individually assesses hundreds of berries per second. The state-of-the-art winery at Labastida houses a serious research and development division enabling the implementation of new technology when deemed appropriate, whilst maintaining the beautiful style of these wines which have such a devoted following.