La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2009  £30.95

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An abundant water reserve from the winter enabled the grapes to reach the end of the cycle in good condition. Rain in mid-September slowed down grape ripening, resulting in a good alcoholic and phenolic balance. It was a decisive turning point, resulting in a high-quality vintage as, from that date, we enjoyed favourable weather until the end of the harvest.

The Tempranillo grapes (80%) come from our 30-year-old La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards, located in Fuenmayor and Cenicero and the Garnacha (20%) comes from La Pedriza vineyard in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja), at an altitude of 550 m above sea level. This 67-hectare property offers unbeatable conditions for growing this variety. Its nutrient-poor soil, covered with boulders, results in low grape yields (less than 5,000 kg/ha) and significant varietal typicity. We started picking these plots in mid-October and transported in refrigerated trucks to the winery. Alcoholic fermentation took place naturally, at controlled temperatures. In March 2010, the selected wines were put in barrels to start ageing separately: the Tempranillo for 36 months with six manual rackings in American oak barrels averaging 4 years in age and the Garnacha for 30 months with five manual rackings in American oak barrels with two and three wines. After ageing, the final blend was made and bottled in May 2014.

Medium-intensity, dark cherry-red; clean and bright. To the nose, it stands out for its fresh, spicy character, with hints of sweet cherries and blackcurrant chocolate. Tasty, with a soft freshness, nice structure, and delicately elegant tannins. Silky finish, with a lovely aftertaste, where liqueur-like notes of cherries and blackcurrants intermingle with toasty notes and sweet spices.

Try every kind of red meat, roast lamb, game, seasoned fish stews, tuna and swordfish, smoked and ripened cheese. Barbecues.

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