vanilla and oak up front which quickly faded into the background; smoother than i recall; medium body with lovely red fruit and citrus--agree with the blood orange comment from another taster; perfect with the paella at Venga. Still getting better.
Garnet with slight bricking. Herbal nose with dill dominant. Needed about an hour to open. Wonderful red licorice, lots and lots of cedar, orange marmalade, with a tartness that holds it together. Dusty raspberry finish. Great place right now.
5th bottle in several years. I served this to my friends blind at a party. It changed all throughout the night in the decanter. Vanilla and American oak followed by sweet cherry and blood orange. Long finish. Traditional rioja that most got blind. Will last for decades. A special wine.
From magnum. Wonderful nose, complex and open with rich fruit, smoke, slightly meaty. On the palate fresh and mineral with round, soft tannins. Nicely balanced, vibrant and long. Very good. Drink or hold. 91-93
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(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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