About the Wine
Unique, special, timeless, and eternal is the most accurate description of this out-of-this-world Rioja Gran Reserva. The grapes are specially selected and sourced from their top vineyards. Tempranillo comes from Villalba, Brifias, and Rodezno, and Graciano from the Montecillo farm in Fuen Mayor.
This is peak Rioja. La Rioja Alta has been around so long that this estate is a large part of the reason that Rioja is what it is today. This winery was recognized among “The World Most Admired Wine Brands” in 2021 by Drinks International.
The Gran Reserva labeling in Rioja has very strict regulations on the amount of time that the wine spends both in barrels and in bottles prior to being released. This strict regulation gives us as consumers the opportunity to drink perfectly mature wines at their release. La Rioja Alta always overachieves these aging requirements, in place, the estate opts to release the wine once it is firmly in the drinking window.
This wine was born in an outstanding year. A vintage that was blessed with 94 points by Vinous Media, who described it as “Resulting in rich, emphatically fruity wines, many of which will provide pleasure on the young side, while the best versions have the depth to age."
Aging: 4 years in oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano.
See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.
A perfumed nose of plums, mulberries, mushrooms, caramel, sweet tobacco and sweet spices. Full-bodied with velvety, fine tannins and lively acidity. Balanced and supple with a creamy texture. Delicate and precise with a long, polished finish. ~97 James Suckling
Color: dark cherry, garnet edge, Aroma: ripe fruit, candied fruit, woodwork, tobacco, sweet spices, wild herbs, lactic, Mouth: spicy, ripe tannins, long, elegant. ~97 Guia Peñin
One of a pair of current releases of 904, both of them from warmer vintages, this delightful 2015 is a felicitous cuvée of Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. All sourced from higher altitude vineyards, this will reward further time in the bottle, showing classic sweet spices, fine tannins, layers of red and black fruits, and chalky freshness. ~96 Tim Atkin, Master of Wine
They used the words subtlety, elegance, finesse, delicacy, and silk to define the 2015 Gran Reserva 904 Selección Especial, a blend of 90% Tempranillo from their vineyards in Villalba, Briñas and Rodezno with 10% Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard in Fuenmayor that was picked 23 days later than the Tempranillo. The grapes were sorted optically for the first time, and they fermented in stainless steel where the wine went through malolactic too. The wine was put in barrel in January 2016—used American oak barrels built by their own coopers—where it matured for four years, during which time it was racked every six months. 2015 was a healthy vintage with balanced ripeness that delivered wines with good aging potential. They thought the wine needed a little more time in bottle to polish those tannins and have decided to hold it and release the wine around March 2023; it will be marked Selección Especial, the first 904 to do so, as they have very high hopes for this year and believe it's one of the finest vintages. They think it will develop the sophistication in the palate with a little more time and that is should achieve the silkiness that is the signature of 904. This is very 2015; I saw quite strong tannins in all the 2015 wines I tasted from Rioja Alta. There are some 150,000 bottles of this. ~95 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Vivid ruby. Expansive red and blue fruit preserve, tobacco, potpourri, spice and botanical herb aromas, with vanilla and smoky mineral notes emerging as the wine opens up. Sappy, penetrating and gently chewy on the palate, offering vibrant, mineral- and spice-accented black raspberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Shows sharp focus and floral lift on the impressively long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves behind notes of candied blue fruits and spicecake. ~95 Vinous Media
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