I was impressed by this classically styled Rioja from La Rioja Alta. In a good vintage, like 2008, Viña Ardanza is a bit of a steal. It’s available from The Wine Society and Majestic for £22, which for this quality is really good value. You can cellar this and enjoy it any time over the next couple of decades, with its combination of tannin, acid and fruit that has been mellowed with three years in barrel.
La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2008 Rioja, Spain
13.5% alcohol. It’s 75 years since this wine was first made (1942 was the debut vintage), and the 2008 is a very nice wine in a traditional style, and along with the amazing 2001 promises to be one of the great vintages of this wine. It has a substantial dollop (20%) of Garnacha, which this year, for the first time, comes from the company’s own vineyards. There’s a lovely mix of raspberry, plum and red cherry fruit together with savoury notes of cedar, spice and tar. The palate is delicately weighted, with good acidity and appropriate concentration, with all the elements working in harmony. There’s some structure that suggests that this will age effortlessly over the next couple of decades, but it’s already delivering quite a bit of complexity and pleasure. 94/100
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