07 Sep 2005 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904, Spain
The Gran Reserva 904 was named in memory of a very important date for the La Rioja Alta SA winery.
In 1904, founder of La Rioja Alta, Don Alfredo Ardanza, who was also owner the Ardanza winery in the same Rioja region, proposed a merger of the two companies has was deeply involved into. In addition, this date also coincides with what is considered one of the greatest vintages in local history.
To prevent consumer’s confusion with the actual vintage of the 1904 Cuvée wines, the number 1 was dropped and this Gran Reserva eventually named 904.
The same story goes for the other Rioja Alta’s Gran Reserva, the 890.
Both Gran Reserva wines represent the finest expression of the winery’s savoir-faire.
The 904 is a blend of Tempranillo (90%) and Graciano (10%) from vines over 40 years old in vineyards in Briñas, Labastida and Villalba.
After fermentation, the different batches were transferred into 4-year-old American oak barrels, and aged there for 4 years in the typical Riojan tradition.
So this 2005 vintage was not bottled before November 2010! To further the maturation of the wine, it was then aged another 5 years in bottle before it was released in October 2015.
Social Vignerons has therefore been one of the first few to review this wine since its official release.
A complex, smooth, and succulent wine that combines contradictions with elements more usually found in lighter or richer wines: great acidity, dense velvety tannic texture, intense but well integrated American oak notes, with plenty of fruit as well.
When to Drink?
Most wines in that class should really been cellared at least 5 or 10 years being before drunk.
But here, the winery has done the hard work for you and aged it 4 years in barrel and 6 years in bottle.
The result is a wine that is already very smooth, drinkable, enjoyable and full of bouquet character.
If you’re after even more savory notes like spiced grilled meat flavors, the 2005 Gran Reserva 904 will probably positively evolve for another solid 10 years.
But how good is this La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva in the end?
The answer is in the tasting notes: go here for the full article http://socialvignerons.com/2016/04/02/2005-la-rioja-alta-gran-reserva-904-spain