Rioja Gran Reserva, '904', La Rioja Alta
Tempranillo (89%) from vines over 60 years old planted in Briñas, Rodezno and Villalba, and Graciano (11%) from our Montecillo vineyard in the municipality of Fuenmayor. After destemming and light crushing, the grapes were put in tanks where they underwent alcoholic fermentation for 17 days. Batches were selected and allowed to complete malolactic fermentation naturally over 75 days. In June 2012, the wine was transferred to four-and-a-half-year-old American oak barrels (made in-house), where it stayed until March 2015. During aging, the wine was racked eight times using traditional barrel-tobarrel methods. The final blend was bottled in November 2016.
Press & Reviews
Lovely dried red fruit, such as plums with just a hint of prunes. Cedar, walnut and leather undertones. Full-bodied with lots of fruit, considering its age, as well as hints of smoke, tobacco, bark and black tea. Some balsamic at the finish. Traditionally styled with lovely results. Drink or hold.
The 2011 Rioja Gran Reserva 904 has been one of my go-to cuvées since my earliest days as a wine lover. This latest release is a blend of 60-year-old Tempranillo from Briñas, Rodenzo and Villalba (89%) and the remainder Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard. Fully de-stemmed and aged for 54 months in American oak, it was bottled in November 2016. This is more reticent and less forthcoming on the nose compared to the Viña Ardanza, gradually unfolding to reveal enticing scents of raspberry, crushed strawberry, warm leather, terra cotta and a touch of meat juice. This needed more decanting than the Ardanza. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins, and ultra-smooth in terms of texture. Layers of red fruit laced with clove, sprigs of fresh mint and blood orange dovetail into a soy-tinged finish that you expect to fan out, though it declines; it needs maybe another 12–18 months to really show what it is capable of. Magnificent.
Wine & Spirits
Grand and elegant, in the stubbornly traditional mode of Rioja Alta classicism, this wine has enough air between the layers of plump fruit and oak spice to build generous complexity. Its herbal savor and piquillo-pepper notes keep it earthbound, while the wine’s stamina keeps driving the flavors forward. This has the gracious power to sustain it for seriously long aging.