La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Selectión Especial Reserva 2010
2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza! They have managed to produce 600,000 bottles of this-and apparently in one single lot. It was bottled in May 2015.
Designation: Smart Buys. Polished and graceful, balanced and lively, this red offers cherry, dried strawberry, cedar, spice and vanilla flavors that mingle over light, firm tannins and orange peel acidity. The silky texture and juicy flavors find a graceful middle ground between the traditional and modern styles. Tempranillo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2025. 50,000 cases made.