2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza - Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1442973 96 points James Suckling

 Dried cherries, cedar, sandalwood, tar, treacle tart, cinnamon and vanilla. Medium body, fine-grained and very silky tannins for a wine of almost 10 years of age, bright and transparent acidity and a long, very spicy finish. Like going back in time and touching an ornate tapestry. The texture is mesmerizing.  (7/2019)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza! (LG)  (6/2019)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Polished and graceful, balanced and lively, this red offers cherry, dried strawberry, cedar, spice and vanilla flavors that mingle over light, firm tannins and orange peel acidity. The silky texture and juicy flavors find a graceful middle ground between the traditional and modern styles. *Smart Buys* (TM)  (6/2019)

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Price: $31.99

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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2019 | Send Email
A tremendous offering (again!) from La Rioja Alta. There's a reason that the Seleccion Especial is offered only in a few key vintages and when you taste the wine, it is all summed up in the glass. This is overt and rich with deep red cherry fruit surrounded by allspice, coconut and sandalwood. This tannins are sweet and the acid provides all the background structure. The wine is explosive and sexy now but should continue to evolve for decades to come. I'm just starting on my 2001s, so I recommend putting a few of these away, you know I will!

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2019 | Send Email
I was very excited to hear that another version of the Reserva Especial was being released. I loved the 2001, I still have a few bottles left in the cellar! Vina Ardanza is always great, it is the answer to the question, "what is a great affordable Rioja". This wine delivers on the promise of the special naming. The aromas move fruit fresh to dried fruit, lots of spice, earth, and oak. It makes me do one of my favorite things great wines do, catch you off guard that you have spent so much time with the glass up to your nose before it has ever touched your lips. the palate is rich and round with plenty of tannins but they have settled into the periphery of the wine. This wine shines. There are layers to this wine that keep unfurling the longer that it is opened. Ready tonight, but try to save a few bottles, this has long, long term cellar potential.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/6/2019 | Send Email
Rioja doesn’t get more legit than this. You can definitely feel the complexity from its maturation in bottle. The American oak on this is extremely well done, with lots of vanilla, cedar and allspice in the forefront with darker tones of blackfruit and savory meatiness lurking in the background. On the palate the wine is nicely softened, with even more savory tones punching through to a bright, crisp finish. Excellent concentration and great power.

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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.


Alcohol Content (%): 13