La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011
|Brand||La Rioja Alta|
Deep, shimmering garnet. Highly perfumed cherry, blueberry, smoked meat, coconut and floral pastille scents are complemented by a succulent herb nuance that builds as the wine opens up. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering intense cherry-vanilla, candied rose, cola and mocha flavors sharpened by a late jolt of spiciness. Shows outstanding clarity and penetrating red fruit character on the gently tannic, impressively long, smoky finish, which leaves a repeating floral note behind.
I usually prefer the 904 to the 890, but there will be no Gran Reserva 890 until the 2010 vintage (from the last vintage I tasted, 2005). So, the only one of the extended-aging Haro-style reds I tasted this time was the 2011 Gran Reserva 904, which had a hard act to follow after the 2010 vintage. It's a blend of 89% Tempranillo and 11% Graciano matured in American oak barrels for four years, and it was racked eight times from barrel to barrel during its élevage, which sounds a bit harsh for a vintage like 2011 when the wines were not as complete and robust as in 2010. It has the classic profile, aromas and flavors (decayed leaves, tobacco, sweet spices, a meaty touch and some black fruit), but the oak seems to take a more leading role and the palate feels less juicy. It finishes dry. The final blend was bottled in November 2016, filling 150,000 bottles.
This supple red shows maturity, with forest floor, mushroom and cedar notes framing dried cherry and tea flavors. The silky texture is supported by light tannins and orange peel acidity. Traditional style, balanced and harmonious. Tempranillo and Graciano. Drink now through 2025. 3,800 cases imported.