About the Wine
2018 is a particularly interesting year for La Rioja Alta. This year showed “Cool conditions throughout the year,” as Vinous Media stated. This resulted in lower alcohol and fresher wines that led this winery to produce only Viña Alberdi’s label. This means that all the Tempranillo grapes went to this specific wine, including the grapes that are usually used to produce Rioja Alta’s Premium labels like the 980 and 940 wines,(wines that typically sell for 10 times the price or more.)
This wine was described by Robert Parker as a “Super- Viña Alberdi, which shows more Crianza style in this cooler vintage but with very good depth and complexity, perhaps a more modern and fresher style.”
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 is recognized among “The World Most Admire Wine Brands” in 2022.
With more than 1,600 acres planted in some of the best terroirs of La Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Rias Baixas, this winery is at the top of its game. Julio Saenz, La Rioja Alta's winemaker since 1996, has been crafting award-winning wines, that are an ode to classic Rioja.
Tasting Notes: 100% Tempranillo. On the nose, intense aromas of red fruits, strawberries, raspberries, currants, and cherries, and elegant notes of vanilla, toffee, coffee cream, cinnamon, brioche bread, and hazelnut. A balance between acidity and alcohol with some soft, sweet, and round tannins, finishing off with a pleasant and long end. Pair this wine with paella, pasta, BBQ burger, and pintxos.
A pretty nose of raspberries, cassis, fresh herbs, vanilla, and sweet spices. It’s medium-bodied with round tannins. Creamy and fruity with chocolatey character on the mid-palate. Supple finish with excellent length. Tangy acidity. 100% tempranillo. Drink or hold. ~93 Points, James Suckling.
Their young and fresh red 2018 Viña Alberdi, already a Reserva (Crianza in Spain), matured in oak barrels for two years—in new barrels for the first year and in used barrels for the second year. During the élevage, they racked the wine manually from barrel to barrel four times. 2018 was a year of lower alcohol and more freshness in the wines, and they thought the wines were not designed for the long haul; so, they didn't produce any other wine, and so the only wine from 2018 IS VIÑA ALBERDI! This means that all the Tempranillo grapes that were destined for 890, 904, and all the other wines went to this wine. They didn't use the Garnacha (which was sold in bulk). So, this is a super- Viña Alberdi, which shows more Crianza style in this cooler vintage but with very good depth and complexity, perhaps a more modern and fresher style. The wine has a seamless palate and a juicy texture, with more color than other vintages, more intensity, more fruit... It has grapes from very good vineyards and poor soils that were never destined for this wine. Highly recommendable and very versatile. It has the potential to age. They produced a whopping one million bottles of it. It was bottled in March 2021. ~92 Points, Robert Parker.
~92 Points, Tim Atkin.
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