Community Tasting Notes (622) Avg Score: 90.8 points

  • Winner of the night, compared to two other Riojas on Mother's Day. (all left open to breathe for 1-2 hours)
    Bright red fruits (mostly cherry) and masculine but balanced oak, a medium body with generous fruit and pleasing, substantial, food friendly acidity. Classic tannins now getting mellower with age.
    Would not hold on to these too much longer.

    This is what I think of, when I think of Rioja.

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  • This is the last bottle of this wine I have. The previous two I tasted were downright awful while the ones before that were quite nice.
    Opened this yesterday, this bottle is one of the good ones. Cedar, cherries and a smooth lightish weight for Rioja. Will report back tomorrow.

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  • Classic, old school Rioja, just as before. A lot of dill and pickle from US oak, medium body, some red fruits, rather high accidity, very nice food wine, that becomes fatter and bolder with air.

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  • Dense and bright but desperately oaky at this stage. Fierce acid, flavour profile much more shouty than the last bottle. Also lacking harmony and tannic integration although this will hopefully improve with age. Leave til 2017.

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  • From the Cave of Ali Kebob-a: oh my! while Muga was mature-ish and polished - this wine is a young wilderbeast!! Started of funky and meaty with vanilla notes but evolved over the night into mint and herbs and forest floor. bright cherry mid with powerful tannins and refreshing tangy acidity. like biting into and handful of berries. finish is long, tangy with smooth tannins that will require years more of aging. another ridiculous QPR and a reminder - I NEED MORE RIOJA. this is just awesome, mindblowing young wine. (93++)

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  • By Josh Raynolds
    September/October 2010, IWC Issue #152, (See more on Vinous...)

    (La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial Rioja) Subscribe to see review text.

  • By Richard Jennings
    6/28/2012, (See more on 92 points

    (La Rioja Alta Rioja Viņa Ardanza Reserva Especial) Bricking dark red violet color; appealing, dried berry, fruitcake, baked black fruit, licorice nose; mature, silky textured, baked berry, baked plum, prune, licorice palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points
  • By Richard Jennings
    5/2/2011, (See more on 89 points

    (La Rioja Alta Rioja Viņa Ardanza Reserva Especial) Mature, plum, dill, oak nose; mature, light-medium bodied, plum, black fruit palate; medium-plus finish


  • By Chris Kissack
    February 2008, (See more on Winedoctor...) 17 points

    (La Rioja Alta Viņa Ardanza Rioja Reserva Especial) The 2001 Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial from La Rioja Alta is 80% Tempranillo, largely sourced from the Viña Ardanza estate in Fuenmayor, in the Rioja Alta district; what doesn't come from here is derived from other Rioja Alta vineyards. The balance is Garnacha, sourced from Ausejo and Tudelilla in Rioja Baja. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel, regulated to 28ºC, and malolactic was complete before transfer into American oak in March 2002. The wine was racked every six months before eventual bottling in September 2005. This lengthy élevage shows through in the wine today which, although rich in pigment, with a very dark hue especially at the core of the wine, is showing the mature tones of age and time spent in wood. And yet aromatically this wine remains painfully youthful - to my nose at least, as I enjoy Rioja with a great more deal age than this wine has at present - with firm and vibrant notes of redcurrant and cranberry, white pepper, thyme, rosemary and blackcurrant, the fruit character suggestion of a rich substance rather than anything lean or bright. Certainly evocative and aromatic, and there are certainly some vanilla and chocolate-mint aromas from the oak flexing their muscles here, although these oaky notes are well-matched the fragrant fruit now, and will undoubtedly fade with time. It has a surprisingly cool and well-framed style at the start of the palate, but is also rich and showing plentiful substance. But there is still a precise and surprisingly stony grip to it, with softer honeyed substance towards the end of the palate, revealing plenty of peppery spice here also. An elegant style, but with a firm and energy-charged finish, I've no doubt this is going to do extremely well in the cellar, especially as it has quite some length to it in the finish.

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