La Rioja Alta

Few 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

Read More


La Rioja Alta 'Vina Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2009
96  James Suckling 
James Suckling 96 "Very fresh and vivid 2009 with berries, dark spice and hints of walnuts. Full-bodied, reserved and so held back and muscular, but you don’t feel the tannins and the strength. A great wine. Give it two or three years. Try in 2020. Publish Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018  Wine
Item Number: 31001
Bottle:$27.95
Case: $335.40
BTL

La Rioja Alta 'Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2009 1.5L
96  James Suckling 
James Suckling 96 "Very fresh and vivid 2009 with berries, dark spice and hints of walnuts. Full-bodied, reserved and so held back and muscular, but you don’t feel the tannins and the strength. A great wine. Give it two or three years. Try in 2020. Publish Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018  Wine
Item Number: 30259
Bottle:$64.95
Case: $389.70
BTL

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Rioja Reserva 2012
92  James Suckling 
James Suckling 92 "This is a very classic Rioja with dried fruit and hints of vanilla. Lots of plums and red fruit. Full-bodied, round and juicy. Exotic and beautiful. Very pretty 2012. Drink now. Publish Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018"  Wine Advocate 90+ "Cropped from an extremely dry year,
Item Number: 29727
Bottle:$16.95
Case: $203.40
BTL

La Rioja Alta '890' Tempranillo 2004
96  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 96 Editors Choice "Lightly rusty in color, this outstanding gran reserva is just now entering its golden years, which should endure for another two decades or so. Aromas of raisin, malt, tobacco and cedar are beautiful. This is tight and sinewy in feel, with rooty, creamy, classic
Item Number: 28732
Bottle:$138.95
Case: $833.70
BTL

La Rioja Alta '904' Rioja Gran Reserva 2009
95  Wine Advocate 
James Suckling 97 # 8 Top 100 2018  "This is a driven and super tight Gran Reserva with dark berries and hints of spice and cedar. A spicy red-pepper undertone and some dried flowers. Full to medium body, integrates tannins and a superb finish. A great wine. A wine for the cellar, but why wait?" 
Item Number: 28577
Bottle:$52.95
Case: $635.40
BTL

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Arana' Tempranillo 2009
(8)
96  James Suckling 
James Suckling 96 "This is a powerful and rich red with black truffle and blueberry character. Sweet tobacco, too. Full body, tannic and flavorful. Yet open and polished. Fantastic finish. Great ageing potential. Drink or hold."  Vintage This vintage stands out for the high grape quality coupled
Item Number: 25923
Bottle:$24.95
BTL

La Rioja Alta '890' Tempranillo 2005
Wine Spectator 97 2018 Top 100 # 4 "Cedar and sandalwood aromas give way to flavors of tea, tobacco, dried cherry, forest floor and orange peel in this expressive red. Round on the palate, supported by muscular tannins and juicy acidity. Big but graceful, mature yet lively, in the traditional

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Rioja Reserva 2011
(5)
94  James Suckling 
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

La Rioja Alta 'Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2008 1.5L
95  Decanter 
Decanter 95 "The best classic style of Grenache and Tempranillo pulling together joyful fruit expression and serious depth. In the mouth it is amazingly complex and so unique. A benchmark Rioja blend. – Pedro Ballesteros Torres, MW"  James Suckling 94 "Aromatic nose of dried strawberries and

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2008
(8)
95  Decanter 
Decanter 95 "The best classic style of Grenache and Tempranillo pulling together joyful fruit expression and serious depth. In the mouth it is amazingly complex and so unique. A benchmark Rioja blend. – Pedro Ballesteros Torres, MW"  James Suckling 94 "Aromatic nose of dried strawberries and

La Rioja Alta '904' Rioja Gran Reserva 2007
(5)
97  James Suckling 
James Suckling 97 "Wonderful purity of fruit with a strawberry, currant and plum character. Full and velvety body with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious fresh and fruity finish. Classic Rioja style. Que lindo! Drink now. Publish Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016"  Wine Advocate 95 "If Viña

La Rioja Alta 'Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2007 1.5L
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 "The 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, the Tempranillo from 30-year-old vineyards La Cuesta and Montecillo in the villages of Fuenmayor and Cenicero, and the Garnacha from old head-pruned vines at 600 meters altitude in Tudelilla, in Rioja Baja,

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Rioja Reserva 2010
(18)
95  James Suckling 
James Suckling 95 "Ripe and intense aromas of strawberries and blackberries with hints of black ink. Savory notes, too. Full-bodied, chewy and focused with linear fruit and character. Very finely crafted. Drink or hold."  Wine Advocate 91 "The 2010 Viña Alberdi is a Tempranillo blend from

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Arana' Tempranillo 2008
91  Vinous Media 
Guia ABC 94 Spain's leading fine wine magazine "An old soul in a young body. Or, better said, the wisdom of an elder and the beauty that personifies youth, though it isn’t always thus. An excellent wine now, even though it will improve in bottle. Where’s it going? I don’t know. But at this price

La Rioja Alta '904' Rioja Gran Reserva 2005
(5)
96  Wine Advocate 
Wine Enthusiast 96 WE TOP 100 2016 Rank 1 "One look, one whiff, one taste and you’re swooning. This mature, tawny, ready-to-drink gran reserve with aromas of lemon peel, cedar and dried cherry is the epitome of elegance. A juicy, supple palate is highly approachable, while flavors of vanilla,

La Rioja Alta 'Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2005 1.5L
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 "Cropped from a vintage deemed almost perfect, the 2005 Viña Ardanza Reserva follows the same varietal mix found in the last vintages; 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The grapes are always sourced from the same vineyards, 30-year-old Tempranillo from Fuenmayor and Cenicero in

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2007
(3)
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 "The 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, the Tempranillo from 30-year-old vineyards La Cuesta and Montecillo in the villages of Fuenmayor and Cenicero, and the Garnacha from old head-pruned vines at 600 meters altitude in Tudelilla, in Rioja Baja,

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Rioja Reserva 2009
(4)
92  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 92 "Ruby-red. Aromas of ripe red berries, candied rose, vanilla and pipe tobacco, with a mineral element contributing vivacity. Juicy, penetrating and gently sweet on the palate, offering vibrant raspberry and cherry flavors that deepen on the back half. Shows very good heft and power

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Rioja Reserva 2008
(6)
91  Vinous Media 
Wine Advocate 91 "I tasted two vintages of the only pure Tempranillo wine they produce. The 2008 Viña Alberdi comes from their vineyards in Rodezno and Labastida and matured in American oak barrels for two years, the first year in new barrels and the second year in used ones. The nose is very

La Rioja Alta '904' Rioja Gran Reserva 2004
(5)
96  Wine Advocate 
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

La Rioja Alta '890' Tempranillo 2001
Wine Advocate 95 "2001 is a great vintage for all the wines from La Rioja Alta but the long-awaited 2001 Gran Reserva 890 is otherworldly. 2001 was a slow maturing vintage which produced smaller grapes especially in the old vineyards on the slopes of the Sierra Cantabria in the villages of Brinas,

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Arana' Tempranillo 2006
Decantalo 93 "This new vintage, Viña Arana, is a red wine. Its previous 2005 vintage gained 18.5 points out of 20 from Decanter and it was placed among the top 3 best Riojas of the year of Masters of Wine Pedro Ballesteros i Anette Scarfe. This wine is produced by Bodega La Rioja Alta in D.O. La

La Rioja Alta 'Vina Ardanza' Rioja Reserva 2005
(20)
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 "Cropped from a vintage deemed almost perfect, the 2005 Viña Ardanza Reserva follows the same varietal mix found in the last vintages; 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. The grapes are always sourced from the same vineyards, 30-year-old Tempranillo from Fuenmayor and Cenicero in

La Rioja Alta '890' Tempranillo 1998
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 "The 1998 Gran Reserva 890 is more or less the same blend and vinification as the 1995 with just a little more alcohol (13%). It has impressive intensity on the nose with lifted dark cherry and briary notes. It has very fine delineation with aromas of licorice and orange rind. The

La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi 2007
(1)
91  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 91  "Let’s start with the noteworthy 2007 Vina Alberdi, their youngest and fruiter wine from a cold vintage. It’s produced with Tempranillo grapes from their own vineyards in the villages of Rodezno and Labastida, fermented with their natural yeast and aged in American oak barrels