La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2005

$57.99

SKU 21202

750ml

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Medium-depth, cherry-red; clean and bright. Very intense to the nose, with a pleasant balsamic bouquet. Almonds, mint chocolate, vanilla and roasted coffee lead to notes of jammy fruit. Good, balanced structure in the mouth, with a pleasant acidity and very sweet, round tannins which provide a long, complex finish. Excellent to enjoy now, although it will continue rounding off its fine bouquet in the bottle over time. This vintage was officially rated as Excellent, which coincides with our assessment. After budbreak at the normal time of the year, moderate, well-distributed spring rains led to proper canopy development, which lasted until fruit set, helping to balance production. September temperatures were moderate during the day and cool at night, allowing the grapes to acquire the typical traits of this part of Rioja.
Category Red Wine
Varietals
Country Spain
Region Rioja
Brand La Rioja Alta
  • wa96

Wine AdvocateThe 2005 Gran Reserva 904 is a superb blend of Tempranillo from the villages of Briñas, Labastida and Villalba with 10% Graciano from Briones and Rodezno. The grapes were destemmed and crushed and fermented in stainless steel for 18 days at 25 C. Malolactic fermentation was spontaneous and lasted 38 days. These wines are marked by a long aging in used American oak barrels following the most strict Riojan tradition; four years during which time the wine was manually racked eight times. This is usually my favorite wine from La Rioja Alta and 2005 is one of its best showings, going back to the quality of the vintages of the 1950s and 60s. The nose is very balsamic with notes of camphor, hints of mint, leather and hung game wrapped around a core of cherries in liqueur. Together it is balanced, subtle, truly elegant and classical. The palate is only medium-bodied but with great concentration of flavors that are very tasty, mineral, almost salty and framed by ultra-fine tannins and smashing balance. A great classic. This wine will be released in October 2015, a full ten years after the vintage. At this quality level this is a bargain. 150,000 bottles produced. La Rioja Alta celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2015. Last year, I only tasted three wines from La Rioja Alta and I tasted six this time. The quality is as good as ever, with superb wines from the almost-perfect 2005 vintage coming into the market. Great Rioja, as traditional as it gets, in good quantity and moderate (and often plain great) prices.

Luis Gutierrez, April 2015
  • ws92

Wine SpectatorThis old-school red delivers dried cherry, floral, licorice and leather flavors in a smooth texture, supported by light, firm tannins and orange peel acidity. The flavors are harmonious, the finish long and juicy. Drink now through 2020. 12,500 cases made.

Thomas Matthews, October 15, 2015