LA RIOJA ALTA
2011 904 Gran Reserva
From the third great vintage in a row, the 2011 Gran Reserva 904 is the product of one of only 14 vintages declared ‘excellent’ by the Rioja Consejo Regulador. Fantastically complex nose, rich and so enticing with the exotic smells of middle eastern spices, coconut and the whiff of incense. The warmth of the vintage shines here, on the palate the feel is sleek and harmonious. Loaded with well-integrated fruit punnet loads of rich cherries, blackberries and raspberries. Bolstered with lovely balanced notes of coffee, chocolate and baking spices. In the background there is some savour too - a whiff of game and leather. But is the intense, spiced luxurious feel here that is mesmerising. Juicy, spicy and sleek this is gorgeous. So approachable already, it is hard to resist - but this has legs and will continue to improve over the next decade. L&S (May 2020)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Considerably more evolved than the 2015 release, which is also available now, this is a classic marriage (for 904) of Tempranillo and 11% Graciano that will appeal to the wine's many dedicated fans. Sweet balsamic and coconut aromas segue into a palate that's gentle, savoury and caressing with vital underlying acidity and structure. Drinking range: 2021 - 2026 Rating: 95 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Feb 2021)
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. Rating: 96 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Nov 2020)
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011 is a blend of 89% Tempranillo hailing from old vines in Briñas, Rodezno and Villalba, and 11% Graciano from the estate’s Montecillo vineyard in Fuenmayor. According to chief winemaker, Julio Sáenz, the wine boasts aromas of plum, blackberry jam, raspberry, balsamic, tobacco leaf, liquorice and ground coffee. The 2011 vintage is that last to be classified as “excellent” by the Rioja Consejo Regulador, along with 2010, 2005, 2004 and 2001. Only 14 vintages since 1925 have been ranked as excellent in Rioja, making them particularly appealing to fine wine collectors. The end of the 2011 growing cycle was marked by sunny days and cool nights, leading to even ripening and grapes filled with colour and concentration. The resulting wines have long lives ahead of them. 904 is one of the trio of gran reservas made by La Rioja Alta, the other two being 890 and Viña Arana, which launched last year. The estate was founded in Haro’s Barrio de la Estación (station quarter) in 1895 by five enterprising families in Rioja Alta. Made in the traditional style, the wines are known for their bright fruit and long oak ageing. The bodega imports American oak and dries it for two years before building its barrels by hand in Haro. The wines are racked by candlelight every six months.The Drinks Business (Mar 2020)
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