2011 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo
Drink over the next 5-6 years.
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. Drink 2022-2034.
Josh Raynolds – Vinous
La Rioja Alta is a grand old estate founded (and still owned) by four wine growing families in 1890. The wines are produced from estate-grown, low yielding, old vineyards that are still produced in a very traditional way. The winery's commitment to quality extends to keeping all production of oak in-house, utilising their own cooperage on site.
Gran Reserva 904 is produced from vines over 60-years old composed of 90% Tempranillo & 10% Graciano. Maturation takes place in 4-year-old American oak for 3 years, followed by a further 4 years in bottle prior to release.
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.
JamesSuckling.com (December 2020)
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. Drink 2020 - 2030.
Luis Gutiérrez - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (October 2020)
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.
Thomas Matthews - Wine Spectator (December 2020)