La Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Rioja Reserva 2011
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This is a red wine imageLa Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Rioja Reserva 2011

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James Suckling 94
"A classic and tightly knit Rioja with dried berry, spice and cedar character on the nose and palate. Medium body, very fine tannins and a flavorful finish. Acidity carries the wine and then the tannins. Gorgeous. Drink now. Publish Date: Monday, July 24, 2017"

Wine & Spirits 91
"There’s a velvety, red-fruited wine behind all the initial oak blackness, yielding notes of forest floor as the wine softens up with air. It remains tight in ... read more
This is a red wine
Item ID: #27206
Size: 750mL (wine)
Closure: Cork

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Item Description

James Suckling 94
"A classic and tightly knit Rioja with dried berry, spice and cedar character on the nose and palate. Medium body, very fine tannins and a flavorful finish. Acidity carries the wine and then the tannins. Gorgeous. Drink now. Publish Date: Monday, July 24, 2017"

Wine & Spirits 91
"There’s a velvety, red-fruited wine behind all the initial oak blackness, yielding notes of forest floor as the wine softens up with air. It remains tight in the middle, needing a grilled sirloin to bring out its complexity."

About:
La Rioja Alta celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2015. Last year, I only tasted three wines from La Rioja Alta and I tasted six this time. The quality is as good as ever, with superb wines from the almost-perfect 2005 vintage coming into the market. Great Rioja, as traditional as it gets, in good quantity and moderate (and often plain great) prices.


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.

Vintage
The 2010 harvest offered extraordinary quality. The keys to this great year were: very favourable weather which enabled the vines stay in excellent condition throughout the growth cycle; moderate production yields; and selective picking of our best grapes. This was further enhanced by balanced ripening in terms of acidity and alcohol content, a good polyphenol load and significant varietal typicity. Those are the necessary ingredients to enjoy the wines from a vintage which was officially rated Excellent by the Rioja Control Board.

Vineyards
100% Tempranillo from part of our Las Monjas, Bardal and Las Cuevas vineyards in Rodezno and Alto del Rey in Labastida. These estate-owned vineyards are located at an altitude of 500-600 metres above sea level, planted more than 40 years ago in chalky-clay soils..

Winemaking and ageing
The grapes were picked manually and gently transported to the winery in boxes and refrigerated lorries. Once in the winery, the grapes were destemmed and crushed following the bordelais model. After fermenting, the wine was aged for 2 years in American oak barrels manufactured in-house —the first year in new oak and the second in barrels averaging 3 years in age. The wine was manually racked four times by the light of a candle. It was bottled in December 2013.

Tasting
Deep, ripe cherry red, with a clean, bright pink rim. Expansive nose, with dominating ripe red fruit, currants and liquorice, rounded off with sweet notes of vanilla, caramel, jam and spices. The wine is particularly well-balanced, with a smooth, elegant entry, medium body and sweet, tasty tannins. Ripe fruit, herbs, vanilla and caramel come together to mark a pleasant, agreeable finish.

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)

Louis

Have purchased several times and will do again

"Really, I should tell you that it is awful so there will be more for me, but that would be mean. If you like Riojas, this is a very nice one at a good price."

Jim

Very good Rioja Reserve

"The 2010 was my go-to Spanish red. This is even better."

John

great fruit balanced with touch of oak

Jessica

private review

Barry

Best value in first growth bodegas

"At this price you cannot do better than Vina Alberdi if you like old world Rioja. This wine has great fruit, balanced with saddle, barnyard, forest floor, acidity and smooth tannins the first growth producers are famous for. Marvelous complexity and ageability in a delicious, approachable Rioja. A winner!!"

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