La Rioja Alta '904' Rioja Gran Reserva 2004
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This is a red wine imageLa Rioja Alta '904' Rioja Gran Reserva 2004

 
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Wine Advocate 96
"The 2004 Gran Reserva 904 is Tempranillo from Brinas, Labastida and Villalba balanced with 10% Graciano from Briones and Rodezno. The grapes were fermented and macerated in inox vats for 14 days at 28º C, and malolactic fermentation lasted 28 days. The wine aged for 4 years in used American oak barrels averaging 4 years old, during which time it was manually racked 8 times. 150,000 bottles were filled. This 2004, from ... read more
This is a red wine
Item ID: #18212
Size: 750mL (wine)
Closure: Cork

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Wine Advocate 96
"The 2004 Gran Reserva 904 is Tempranillo from Brinas, Labastida and Villalba balanced with 10% Graciano from Briones and Rodezno. The grapes were fermented and macerated in inox vats for 14 days at 28º C, and malolactic fermentation lasted 28 days. The wine aged for 4 years in used American oak barrels averaging 4 years old, during which time it was manually racked 8 times. 150,000 bottles were filled. This 2004, from a superb vintage shows a beautiful light red color with a brick rim and a superb nose redolent of balsamic woods, spices, leather, well-hung meat, incense and truffles. The light to medium-bodied palate shows fully resolved tannins, great acidity and pure, pungent flavors that linger in the mouth forever and that can only be Rioja. This is a wine to smell over and over again. It might sound like an exaggeration, but this wine is still too young and you should wait a little bit and drink the superb 2001 vintage which should still be available on the market while this one matures in bottle. At this quality level the price is superb especially considering that the wine is being released 10 years after the vintage. Drink 2016-2024.

La Rioja Alta has tremendously improved its wines in the last few years while keeping faithful to the most classical style. They have always been hugely popular in Spain, but they seem to be selling their wines faster and don’t produce every cuvee in every vintage and as a result had very few new wines to show. Vina Ardanza jumped from 2001 to 2004, and the next vintage will be 2005. Followers of traditional Rioja are very lucky as both the 904 as the 890 coming on the market are from great vintages and are superb." ~ LG

" Tempranillo (90%) from Briñas, Labastida and Villalba complemented by Graciano from our Melchorón I y II at Briones and Rodezno.

After the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations, the wine was put into nearly new American oak barrels in June 1996. It remained in cask, being racked by hand eight times until it was bottled in July 2000. The wine was only gently filtered so as to preserve the flavours to the maximum. It may well show a sediment in bottle. " ~ Winery notes

La Rioja Alta

View all from La Rioja Alta
La Rioja AltaFew dispute that La Rioja Alta S.A. is the leading quality orientated producer in the Rioja. With more than 50,000 casks and 6.4 million bottles stored at any one time, the equivalent of about 8 years sales, La Rioja Alta S.A. is unique in its ability to supply large quantities of fully mature wines of world class quality.

The company owns 300 hectares of vineyards in different parts of the best zones of the Rioja Alta region. La Rioja Alta S.A. is specialized in red wines. The leading grape variety is the Tempranillo with small doses of Mazuelo and Graciano. The Vina Ardanza differs from the other wines with some 25% Garnacha in the blend. After vinification in the new ultra modern vinification plant near Haro, aging is in traditional Bordeaux casks, all made from American oak. Racking is by hand every 6 months with 8 teams working full time racking the 51,000 casks. There is no filtration prior to bottling and further long aging in bottle before release.

In short the wines are made in the traditional Rioja manner. The company is adamant about not using French oak, keeping the unique Rioja style which has been developed since the end of the 19th century. In spite of the varying amount of time in cask and bottle the wines all display a wonderful rich ruby colour, gorgeous aromas of oak, spices and fruit followed by a sensational feel on the palate, with a wonderful smooth texture, clean rich oaky/fruity flavours and a long lingering finish. All the wines are ready for consumption on release but will keep for many more years in bottle. This situation is almost unique in the world of wine and is the reason why so many restaurants list La Rioja Alta's outstanding range of truly classic Rioja wines.

HISTORY
The Bodega was formed in 1890 as a partnership of 5 quality-conscious growers keen to exploit the export potential for well-made, 'modern' Rioja. At this time, French vineyards were ravaged by phylloxera, and connoisseurs were having to look elsewhere for supplies of fine wine. Rioja, with its excellent climate and soils, had already attracted attention, and experiments with Bordeaux-style vinification and barrique-aging were proving very successful. The region's only real disadvantage was its remoteness, cut off from the lucrative markets to the north by the same mountains that ensured its favorable climate. This problem was solved by construction of the rail link to Bilbao, and it is no coincidence that Bodegas La Rioja Alta was established next to the Haro railway station in the same year it opened.

In 1904, La Rioja Alta absorbed Bodegas Ardanza, and gained access to some of the finest vineyards in the Rioja Alta district. The luxury 904 bottling commemorates this important milestone in the company's development. Since then Rioja has seen more bad times than good, and many producers have harmed the reputation of the region and its production methods, releasing sloppily-aged wines which were never good enough to support a long time in cask. But La Rioja Alta has never let standards slip, and continues to this day the tradition of careful long-aging that gives Rioja its unique character. These wines offer a wonderfully complex bouquet, rich flavours, a seductively smooth texture, and are all ready to drink on release.

Farming Practice:Practicing Organic

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Reviews (5)

William

excellent Spanish wine. real bargain

Thomas

Clean, bright, complex, Long woody finish...

John

At this price, how can it be this good?

"Well it is that good, actually it's even better. Does that make sense? Probably not................BUT....................just give this beautiful, complex, (need I point out that it's already 11 years old?) wine a try and reflect on how many wines you've had costing 2 or 3 times as much. How many of those wines delivered even half the "bang for the buck" all out pleasure that this one does? This is an old style gran reserva Rioja. It is well-aged and loaded with dark cherries, leather, pencil lead, cedar, and a tinge of acidity. The bouquet is exquisite and the tannins and oak are harmoniously integrated."

Christopher
Felipe

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