🥘 Pairs well with roasted lamb, red meats, barbecues, fish casseroles, and smoked or aged cheeses.
Robert Parker, 94 pts
"Garnacha is an important component in the 2012 Viña Ardanza Reserva, where it represents 20% of the blend (the rest is, of course, Tempranillo). 2011 was a difficult vintage for Garnacha, so Viña Ardanza was not produced that year and they jumped from 2010, which had the mention "Selección Especial," to 2012, where it returns to the regular Reserva. The wine is a prototype of polished and aged Rioja with a ruby color with some orange and a developed nose with subtle aromas of decayed leaves, sweet spices and some cherries in liqueur even, quite complex and harmonious. The palate is velvety but rich, with resolved tannins and a fine chalky mouthfeel, sleek and elegant, terribly balanced. The flavors are pure and defined, and there is an overall sense of harmony that I like very much. Brilliant Ardanza!"
James Suckling, 95 pts
"Traditional and beautiful in character with plum, balsamic, orange-peel and leather aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy texture and a long, intense aftertaste. Drink or hold."
Decanter, 94 pts
"Warming, nutty, complex Rioja with layers of fruit and a softness of dark cherry fruit on the palate. Has soft tannins and is elegantly poised, with a long, savory finish."
Wine Spectator, 96 pts
"This red shows an earthy character, with loamy earth, tar and tobacco notes framing dried cherry, licorice, orange peel and forest floor flavors. It's harmonious, with a spicy finish. Tempranillo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2026."
La Rioja Alta
Founded by 5 Riojan families in 1890 in the famous Haro Station district as "Sociedad Vinicola de la Rioja Alta", and with their first president being Saturnina Garcia Cid y Garate (Remarkable that Saturnina was a woman, quite rare at the time. This shows the innovative and modern spirit of this historic winery since its inception). Their first winemaker was a Monsieur Vigier, a French man who create Rioja Alta's Gran Reserva 890 as his first wine.
It wasn't until 1904 that Alfredo Ardanza, founder of the Ardanza winery, proposed to merge both companies, which eventually became "La Rioja Alta S.A." in 1941.