|La Rioja Alta
|Slightly bin stained
The 1964 Gran Reserva 904 is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano and 10% Viura that was raised for one year in an 18,000-liter vat and then six year in old barrels with nine rackings. It has a brick core with a tawny rim. The nose is very fragrant and sensual with crushed flowers, small dark cherry, minerals and a mature Musigny-like aroma. It is very pure and beautifully defined. It is less coarse than the ‘73 Gran Reserva 890 tasted alongside, the tannins finer and more supple, with wonderful cohesion and harmony, plus a silky smooth texture that glides across the palate. It does taste like a great old Burgundy, but the harmony, freshness and complexity is one of the finest I have encountered on any Spanish wine. This is a wine made of dreams.
La Rioja Alta was founded in 1890 in Haro, the capital of Rioja Alta, in close proximity to Lopez de Heredia and Marques de Riscal. The Bodega’s wines are all blends, there are no single vineyard wines, and all of the wines are produced from estate-grown grapes. During my visit in May, 2010, I had the opportunity to taste verticals of 2 of La Rioja Alta’s wines, Vina Ardanza Reserva and Gran Reserva 904. Vina Ardanza’s wines are labeled Reserva with three exceptions. In what La Rioja Alta considers the greatest years (there have been three to date, 2001, 1973, and 1964) the wine is called Reserva Especial. There are usually four vintages a decade of La Rioja Alta’s Gran Reserva 904. It is made from a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano and aged for 5 years in barrel and 5 years in bottle prior to release.