The 2009 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva is an absolute masterpiece this year. Did I mention it received 96 points from James Suckling, 95 points from Master of Wine Tim Aitkin, and 93+ points from the Wine Advocate? What about the fact that it costs less than $35 and as low as $29.99? Yep, the 2009 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza is in top form!
2009 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva –
96 points James Suckling, 95 points Tim Aitkin, 93+ points Wine Advocate
The Essence of Traditional Rioja!
I know Suckling can be a bit “aggressive” with his ratings, but he’s spot on with this one. “Very fresh and vivid 2009 with berries, dark spice and hints of walnuts. Full-bodied, reserved and so held back and muscular, but you don’t feel the tannins and the strength. A great wine.” He’s right, this is truly world-class stuff, and it might be my favorite vintage of Ardanza of all time. And I’ve been drinking and enjoying this wine for years.
And he and I weren’t the only ones who loved it. British Master of Wine Tim Aitkin said, “Ardanza is a classic Rioja,” describing it as “fine and very complete with fennel and sweet Asian spices, tangy acidity and deftly handled American oak.” And Luis Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate said it was “very balanced, serious and harmonious.”
A blend of 80% Tempranillo from 30+ year old vines and 20% Garnacha from estate vineyards, this is what classic, traditional Rioja is all about. Fermented in stainless steel, the Tempranillo is then aged for 36 months and the Garnacha for 30 months in older, American oak barrels. It then spends an additional 2 years in bottle before release. Do the math, and that adds up to 5+ years of aging before the wine is ready for release!
And no, this isn’t some “old stuff” my distributor had sitting around. What it is is the ideal opportunity to taste a perfectly aged wine from one of Rioja’s top producers at one of the best prices in the country. And this stuff doesn’t have to be consumed immediately — Luis Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate says to drink it now through 2034.
So there you go, another splendid deal on another outstanding and classic wine. I can’t recommend this enough — it’s legendary stuff at a price that won’t break the bank. Get at least a bottle, but if you can afford 6, do it! You’ll thanks me. Cheers to happy drinking and eating in Asheville.
Owner/Operator at Table Wine