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Falling In Love With Rioja

I don’t have many Spanish wines in my cellar, but that’s about to change.

The other night my husband and I opened a 2004 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Ardanza, and I fell in love.  Rioja is located in north-central Spain, closer to Bordeaux than the Mediterranean Sea.  This wine is from Rioja Alta, one of Rioja’s sub regions, which has warm, sunny summers, mild winters and a high altitude.

The ‘04 is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Grenacha (Grenache).  It was aged for 36 months in 4-year-old American oak barrels.

The expressive nose is earthy with cedar, tobacco and dark fruit.  The palate has dusty earth, coffee and a lot of black cherry and other dark fruit flavors coming through, but not in a jammy way.  The earth and fruit are a wonderful marriage in this dark red wine.  It’s drinking well now, but has plenty of time to go too!

The 2004 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Ardanza is a great deal for the $30 price point.  It can be found for even a little less!  You really should grab some if you can find it!  I’ll definitely be buying more, and increasing my personal supply of wines from Rioja and other parts of Spain as well!



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