75cl * 14.5% ABV * Rioja, Spain
Formed by five families in the late 19th century, the La Rioja Alta S.A. winery is one of the most iconic names in Fine Wine, and a benchmark for the traditional style of Rioja. Their Tempranillo-led reds are aged for remarkably long periods in barrels, and they are one of the last remaining producers to rack their wines by hand and by candlelight – which they do every six months.
In this Rioja, the Tempranillo (78%) comes from 30-year-old vines in the Cuesta (Cenicero) and Montecillo (Fuenmayor) vineyards. The Garnacha (22%) is from La Pedriza in Tudelilla, Rioja Oriental, a 40-hectare estate with unbeatable conditions for growing this variety. Grapes were harvested manually before being taken to the winery, where, for the first time in the brand’s history, they underwent a rigorous optical selection process, examining each and every berry. In March 2016, the selected wines were put in barrels to start aging separately, the Tempranillo, for 36 months, with six manual rackings, in American oak barrels averaging 4 years in age; the Garnacha, for 30 months, with five manual rackings, in American oak barrels with two and three wines. The final blend was bottled in September 2019.
The resulting Rioja is garnet red, medium-high depth, with an elegant palette. The nose stands out for its power, a highly complex blend of spicy and balsamic aromas of sweet liquorice, patisserie, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee and nutmeg, and notes of stewed red fruits. There is outstanding balance, pleasant freshness and great structure in the mouth, with supple, round tannins. A lingering aftertaste of spicy notes, sweet liquorice and ripe fruit makes Viña Ardanza 2015 a timeless wine, with tremendous laying-down potential from one of the best vintages of the decade.
Pair with main courses, all kinds of meats, stews but also desserts with chocolate toppings. Ideal as an after-dinner drink.
We recommend decanting and serving at 17°C.
"An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black raspberry, cherry cola, potpourri, tobacco and exotic spices, plus a smoky mineral flourish. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering lush red and blue fruit, spicecake, mocha and coconut flavors that firm up on the back half. Finishes extremely long and spicy, with resonating florality, gently chewy tannins and lingering oak spice notes. Drink 2024 - 2034" Josh Raynolds, Vinous (June 2021)