La Rioja Alta 'Vina Arana' Tempranillo 2011
Not Vintage Specific
Item Number: 32407
Jame Suckling 93
"A rich and very creamy wine with vanilla and toasted oak. Very flavorful, rich and beautiful. Full body, round tannins and a delicious finish. Decadent. Traditional Rioja style. Drink now."
Wine Advocate 91
"The sleek and polished 2011 Viña Arana is mostly Tempranillo with 5% Mazuelo from vineyards in Rodezno and Labastida. The destemmed and crushed grapes fermented in stainless steel followed by a slow malolactic. The wine matured in used, neutral American oak barrels for three years. It's very balsamic, possibly from the extended élevage, with aromas of cigar ash, incense, noble woods, vanilla and cocoa. The palate is polished, with resolved tannins and nice, integrated acidity. 150,000 bottles produced. It's been in bottle since July 2015. They uncorked a bottle of the 1985, and the wine was lively with a developed nose, great complexity and a velvety palate. It's a wine that ages very well."
This vintage stands out for the high grape quality coupled with moderate production. Suitable weather during the final phase of the growing cycle was a key factor in the final quality of this vintage. Our vineyards are treated with rational viticulture and produce low yields per hectare. This resulted in grapes in optimum condition, allowing for very well-balanced colour, acidity and alcohol. The Rioja Control Board gave this vintage an official rating of 'Very Good'.
The basic grape variety is Tempranillo (95%) with 5% Mazuelo from the El Palo and Las Monjas vineyards in Rodezno.
Winemaking and ageing
Alcoholic fermentation lasted 14 days at controlled temperatures. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally and took 65 days. The wines were then put in American oak barrels manufactured in-house with an average age of 3½ years. During the wine's three years' ageing, it was racked every 6 months using traditional barrel-to-barrel methods. It was bottled in July 2013.
Medium-depth, dark-cherry red with incipient orange hues. High aromatic intensity, with notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee and cinnamon from the wood against a background of fruits in liqueur. Good structure in the mouth, with a pleasant acidity and fine tannins. A wine with an expansive aftertaste re-emphasising its seductive acidity and noble flavours derived from barrel ageing.
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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