2001 Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial, La Rioja Alta, Rioja

Found these babies at Costco in London (yes, but which one, you may be asking? The one in Chingford of course, on the North Circular). £14.39 all in! I have an offer from BBR for the same wine at £19.58 by the case. Great bargain.

No signs of ageing. Pure red with lovely legs.

Nose of pine, citrus, raspberries, vanilla, spice, oak. Unusual and exotic, alluring, pure.

Tart yet sweet, pure light cherries, yet some raw meat, some strong acidic berries and tannin that excite the mouth. A little bready. Chewy and slightly warm at 13.5%.

So very very drinkable. How will I resist another glass?

93 pts. Great wine.

Original Post
We had this in Spain a few months ago. This wine is getting mixed reviews and the thinking is bottle variation. The 1st bottle we drank in Barcelona was very good, probably close to your 93 rating. The 2nd bottle we had was in Zaragoza and it was not as good.

Overall, we thought this is a good QPR wine at that price (around 25 Euros in Spain). Nicely balanced, complex with good berry fruit and tannins that shows this wine could improve with some cellaring (even though, as you say, it's very drinkable now).

We ended up buying a couple of bottles to take home and I'm keeping them in my cellar for at least a few years.
2001 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (10/12/2012)
-- popped and poured --
-- tasted non-blind over a few hours --

NOSE: lots of oak --- pickles; spicy oak; red-fruited; moderately to moderately+ expressive.

BODY: medium bodied; black-garnet color with bricking throughout; {forgot to note weight of wine} – I seem to recall it being about medium bodied.

TASTE: acidic; a bit pickly; spicy oak; red berries; medium-light to medium concentration of fruit; clean; seems to be loosely structured; very little tannin; if this ages well, it will be on the strength of its acidity; on the elegant side; 13.5% alc. not noticeable. Solid but ultimately unremarkable right now (and possibly forever?).

B: 50, 5, 11, 15, 7 = (88 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
Here are my none formal notes of a month ago.

  • 2001 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (9/22/2012)
    Tasted at Calvert Woodley Rioja tasting. Bottle had been opened for 2hrs. Muscular, oaky and dust but with beautiful complementary notes of plums, spices, tobacco and leather. This can age a few more years but if drinking soon make sure to decant 2hrs in advance. Definitely a wine that screams food. (90 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
Originally posted by nevada slim:
I'm no expert on aging Rioja - or Rioja in general, but I picked up a couple of these last year too. Parker said to hold until 2016. Looks like a crapshoot anyway?

Here's the WA note on this wine (pulled off a retailer's website):

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2001 Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from their vineyards in Fuenmayor and Rioja Baja respectively and it represents only the third vintage to be declared after 1964 and 1973. Aged in American cask for 36 months, it has a bucolic, natural bouquet of bright red cherries, balsamic, mint and a touch of dried honey all with superb delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with wonderful delineation and supple, lithe tannins. The acidity is very well judged and it leads to a pert, tense finish of bitter cherry, loganberry and licorice. This is an outstanding wine drinking perfectly now, but it should age effortlessly. Drink now-2030. (8/ 2012)
Opened and poured off a taste - left open for about an hour before dinner. Slight bricking noticed when the glass is down to the last few sips. The nose was quite inticing - I picked up the cherries and balsamic, but there was more going on. Palate was medium bodied. Acid gave it a slightly tart attack of cherries and spices, but overall balance and finish was very good. A very good food wine. I will hold my last bottle until 2016 just for fun.

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