Wine Article

2001 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial

Last edited on 12/20/2013 by AndrewSGHall
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Just the other day we received a sample from one of our suppliers of a recently released 2001 Rioja. Now, we'll be honest with you, we really didn't know what to expect from this wine (outside of the known parameters of a classic vintage from Rioja combined with an outstanding producer). Suffice to say that we were incredibly pleased with the outcome...

La Rioja Alta was founded in 1890 in Haro, the capital of Rioja Alta, in close proximity to Lopez de Heredia and Marques de Riscal. The Bodega’s wines are all blends, there are no single vineyard wines, and all of the wines are produced from estate-grown grapes. In what La Rioja Alta considers the greatest years (there have been three to date; 2001, 1973, and 1964) the wine is called Reserva Especial.

On initial opening the nose exhibits classic Rioja notes of saddle leather and incense, underpinned by an earthy, forest floor-like aroma. On the palate, this wine is absolutely delicious - a heady combination of black and red cherries, incredibly refined and elegantly soft tannins and a strong backbone of acidity which will undoubtedly help to maintain the wine's wonderful structure and length of finish for many, many years to come.

- alcohol 13.5%
- total acidity: 6.1 g/l (tartaric); volatile Acidity: 0.80 g/l (acetic); pH: 3.58
- 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha; the Tempranillo grapes come from 30-year-old vines planted in Viña Ardanza's Fuenmayor and Cenicero vineyards; the Garnacha grapes come from old, goblet-pruned vines planted at an altitude of 600 m above sea level in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), in plots adjacent to VA's Finca La Pedriza estate
- alcoholic fermentation took place for 14 days in stainless steel tanks; the malolactic fermentation process was over in 21 days; after being transferred, the wine went into casks in March 2002; it spent 36 months in American oak an average of 3 years old, and was racked by hand on 6 occasions; bottling took place in September 2005