2012 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Tempranillo Garnacha
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-owned, low yielding and 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.
Vina Ardanza Reserva is produced of 78% Tempranillo from 30-year-old vines & 22% Garnacha from Rioja Oriental. Maturation takes place in 4-year-old American oak for 3 years, followed by extended aging in bottle prior to release.
Totally opaque black brick red colour with a deep dark brick red hue. Lifted black raspberry and liquorice scents intermix with dark chocolate, earthy vanillin oak, leather and spice. Medium bodied, balsamic infused flavours of black cherry and liquorice meld into vanillin cedar, earth and subtle old leather characters. Texturally full and rounded in the mouth with polished tannins, balanced acidity and an aftertaste that has an earthy leather accent to it.
Drink over the next 3-4 years.
Bright ruby-red. Vibrant, spice- and mineral-accented scents of fresh red fruits, succulent herbs and spicecake are complemented by an emerging floral overtone. Juicy and pliant in the mouth, offering gently sweet raspberry, cherry cola, spicecake and rose pastille flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. In an energetic style, showing fine clarity and silky tannins that frame a long, smooth finish. Drink 2021-2029.
Josh Raynolds – Vinous
Traditional and beautiful in character with plum, balsamic, orange-peel and leather aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy texture and a long, intense aftertaste. Drink or hold.
JamesSuckling.com (November 2020)
Garnacha is an important component in the 2012 Viña Ardanza Reserva, where it represents 20% of the blend (the rest is, of course, Tempranillo). 2011 was a difficult vintage for Garnacha, so Viña Ardanza was not produced that year and they jumped from 2010, which had the mention "Selección Especial," to 2012, where it returns to the regular Reserva. The wine is a prototype of polished and aged Rioja with a ruby color with some orange and a developed nose with subtle aromas of decayed leaves, sweet spices and some cherries in liqueur even, quite complex and harmonious. The palate is velvety but rich, with resolved tannins and a fine chalky mouthfeel, sleek and elegant, terribly balanced. The flavors are pure and defined, and there is an overall sense of harmony that I like very much. Brilliant Ardanza! They produced no less than 600,000 bottles of this wine, which is remarkable. It has been in bottle since March 2016, so it's very approachable but should also age nicely in bottle. Drink or keep. Drink 2020 - 2030.
Luis Gutiérrez - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (October 2020)
This red shows an earthy character, with loamy earth, tar and tobacco notes framing dried cherry, licorice, orange peel and forest floor flavors. It's harmonious, with a spicy finish. Tempranillo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2026.
Thomas Matthews - Wine Spectator (April 2021)