2010 Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Selección Especial, La Rioja Alta

Vintage Description

Viña Ardanza 2010 is a blend of 80% Tempranillo from the La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards in the Rioja Alta subregion, and 20% Garnacha from La Perdriza in Rioja Oriental. This Garnacha is the key to Ardanza's structure, aromatics, and concentration: these vines are actually higher in altitude than most of the Rioja Alta subzone, and sit on barren, free-draining soils made up with large pudding-stones similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. These two varieties are harvested and vinified separately, ageing around three years in American oak barrels which are produced in-house by La Rioja Alta S.A.'s own cooperage. During the maturation, the wine is racked by hand and by candlelight; La Rioja Alta S.A. are one of the handful of producers still to use this traditional technique in Rioja which ensure supple tannins and the savoury flavours that so defines their style.

Tasting Notes

Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate; 95/100
'2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza!'

Jancis Robinson MW 18+/20
'80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha. Selección Especial is reserved for the very best vintage: only 2001, 1973 and 1964 have so far been so elevated - in which case the price seems rather friendly. Aged in American barriques made in-house, racked by hand and by candlelight every six months. Shaded transparent ruby with shaded rust-colored rim. Warm, gentle nose that's like a cocktail of strawberries, cream and subtle vanilla. Pure traditional rioja that's already giving pleasure but, on the basis of past performance, this is only at the start of a glorious life. Just the right mix of broad, ripe fruit and subtle refreshment. So clean! Dry, refreshing finish. Good Value.' jancisrobinson.com

Vineyard Information

2010 is widely regarded as one of the very finest vintages in recent memory for Rioja. Julio Sáenz, head winemaker at La Rioja Alta, called it 'spectacular' - a description which is well and truly borne out in the Viña Ardanza 2010.

The 2010 is particularly remarkable as it has been declared a 'Selección Especial'. This is the highest praise from the winemakers, a title only awarded to the wines and vintages that they rank among the best ever made. For Ardanza, this is only the fourth vintage to win the title, alongside the legendary 1964, 1973, and 2001

Colour Red Origin Spain
Region Spain Red ABV 13.50%
Drink From 2019 Drink To 2035
Special occasion, Fine Wine, Wine for the Cellar