This is one of the best Rioja's in recent years. Why? very favorable weather, vines were in excellent condition, both in development and health. The vines produced perfect fruit making the 2010 vintage in Rioja the vintage of the decade! The 2010 "Vina Ardanza" is a testament to that, a traditional Rioja blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha which received the coveted "Seleccion Especial."
Having been in production for 78 years, the 2010 vintage reach "Seleccion Especial" status, a moniker exclusively awarded to three previous vintages. It's testament to the remarkable quality of the wine. The 2010 Ardanza is not only a high quality expression of classic Rioja, but the best in its class and delivers absurd value. Anything short of a case purchase would be doing this wine a disservice. We'll look back in 20 years and the 2010 Vina Ardanza will be one of the most coveted wines in the world. This wine will take your palate on a euphoric ride today and again in 20+ years. Don't miss out.
Ageing: Tempranillo, 36 months in American oak; Garnacha, 30 months in American oak. Bottled in May 2015.
Tasting Notes: Medium-high intensity, garnet–red with a cherry rim. The nose is fresh and spicy, with hints of sweet cherry, red currants and ripe strawberries followed by notes of black pepper, sweet liquorice, nutmeg, coffee, mocha and cinnamon. Intense and well-balanced, the wine is soft with great structure, and elegant tannins. The finish is long and silky, capped with sweet red fruits and a hint of balsamic. Enjoy with roasted lamb, red meats, barbecues, large game, spicy fish casseroles, smoked and aged cheeses.
Dried cherries, cedar, sandalwood, tar, treacle tart, cinnamon and vanilla. Medium body, fine-grained and very silky tannins for a wine of almost 10 years of age, bright and transparent acidity and a long, very spicy finish. Like going back in time and touching an ornate tapestry. The texture is mesmerizing. Drink now. ~96JS
2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza! ~95RP
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