2010 Gran Reserva 904, La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Spain

2010 Gran Reserva 904, La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Spain

Product: 20101120990
Prices start from £295.00 per case Buying options
2010 Gran Reserva 904, La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Spain

Description

A frisson of excitement ripples through the office when a La Rioja Alta sample appears, and the beaming smiles from the assembled tasters indeed confirms another absolute banger of a 904. The 2010 vintage arrives in an altogether more stoic and refined fashion than last year’s instantly ravishing 2009. I shan’t mince around the euphemisms, there’s oak, lots of it and it delivers this cuvée’s trademark array of decadent aromas magnificently. Come-hither notes of desiccated coconut, toasted walnuts and cheesecake base interplay with a core of black forest fruit so precise and detailed in profile it’s like tasting in high definition. Your palate is the proverbial kitchen of the party where things move up a level with the arrival of mocha, sour cherries, clove and a wisp of menthol freshness. I could continue with sweet tobacco, autumnal leaves and a coquettish damson thing but by now you’ve got the idea. There will be no 2012, 2013 or 2014 904 – pile in. Drink 2020-2050.

Jared Ehret, Private Account Manager

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate96+/100
James Suckling98/100
Vinous95/100
Wine Advocate96+/100
It seems like yesterday when the superb 2001 was released, and now I already have the 2010 Gran Reserva 904 in my glass. It has to be among the greatest modern time vintages of this mythical bottling, where they aim for a wine that has a long aging potential. This is mostly Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 13.5% alcohol, and it matured in fourth-used American oak barrels for four years, during which time the wine was racked every six months. It has the combination of elegance and power only the best vintages are capable of, with the classical aromas, great detail and nuance, very good balance and persistence. They consider 2010 among the best years of this century, and maybe future generations will talk about 2010 like we talk about the great classical vintages of yesterday today. The palate is polished but shows plenty of energy and tension, the tannins are very fine and elegant, and the flavors are focused and clean. This has to be one of the greatest wines from the vintage. A legend in the making. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2015.

Drink 2019 - 2035

Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Jun 2019) Read more
James Suckling98/100
Fresh blueberries and brambleberries take center stage, which is striking for a wine of this age. There are also lots of roasted herbs, such as sage, not to mention floral elements, including lavender and dried violets. Then come cedar, sandalwood and tar. The tannins are incredibly round and soft, without the slightest hint of anything dry. This is among the most elegant of Riojas, where the acidity is wonderfully pronounced and cuts right through any touch of dried fruit. Long and powerful, yet subtle on the finish. Drink now, or hold for a very long time.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Sep 2020) Read more
Vinous95/100

Brilliant ruby. Powerful, spice-tinged cherry, red currant, pipe tobacco, coconut and incense aromas are complemented by floral and spicy nuances, gaining volume with air. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering deeply concentrated cherry liqueur, red berry, floral pastille, musky earth and spicecake flavors that pick up a smoky flourish on the back half. Concentrated yet lively in style, showing superb delineation, firm structure and a sexy floral quality on the extremely long, penetrating finish. Raised for four years in four-year-old American oak barrels.

Josh Reynolds, vinous.com (Nov 2020)

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About this WINE

La Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta continues to be one of the benchmarks for traditionally produced Rioja wine. Established in 1890 at the same spot where their head office sits today, their three Reserva Wine brands, Alberdi, Arana and Ardanza are named after the founding families, all three of which remain shareholders. The company still maintains traditional Rioja winemaking practices whilst embracing many of the new technological advances.

It is unusual for a great bodega of Rioja to own vineyards, but La Rioja Alta own 360ha from which they can source top-quality grapes, resulting in excellent fruit and richness throughout their wines. Tempranillo dominates the plantings, complemented with a small proportion of Garnacha and Graciano vines.

The company is renowned for the quality of its Reservas and in particular for its Gran Reservas, the 904 and the 890. The latter are produced only in exceptional years, are amongst the finest wines being produced in Rioja today.

Gran Reserva 890  is named, rather confusingly, after the date of the creation of La Rioja Alta (1890). It is the non-plus-ultra of the family, a wine that slumbers patiently for 6 years in oak, then is allowed to rest in bottle for a few more years before its released to the suspecting market-place.

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Best of BBX: Rioja

Best of BBX: Rioja

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Tempranillo/Tinto Fino

Tempranillo/Tinto Fino

A high quality red wine grape that is grown all over Spain except in the hot South - it is known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha and Valdepenas and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia. Its spiritual home is in Rioja and Navarra where it constitutes around 70% of most red blends.

Tempranillo-based wines tend to have a spicy, herbal, tobacco-like character accompanied by ripe strawberry and red cherry fruits. It produces fresh, vibrantly fruit driven "jovenes" meant for drinking young. However Tempranillo really comes into its own when oak aged, as with the top Riojas  where its flavours seem to harmonise perfectly with both French and American oak, producing rich, powerful and concentrated wines which can be extraordinarily long-lived.

In Ribera del Duero it generally sees less oak - the exception being Vega Sicilia where it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and then aged for an astonishing 7 years in oak and is unquestionably one of the world`s greatest wines.

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