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"Lots of mushroom and walnut aromas with plum and leather, too. It’s full-bodied, but very soft and creamy-textured with lots of old wood, mushroom and ripe fruit on the finish. Some chocolate and hazelnut. Complex and gorgeous."
96 points - Decanter
96 points - Peñín Guide
96 points - James Suckling, Top 100 Wines of 2020
The Winery La Rioja Alta
La Rioja Alta, established in 1890, continues to be one of the benchmarks for traditionally produced Rioja. The company still maintains traditional Rioja winemaking practices whilst embracing many new technological advances. It is unusual for a great bodega of Rioja to own vineyards, but La Rioja Alta owns 360ha from which they can source the highest quality grapes, resulting in excellent fruit and richness throughout their wines. Tempranillo dominates the plantings, complemented with a small proportion of Garnacha and Graciano. La Rioja Alta deems their Gran Reserva '890' to be their greatest wine, making it only in the very best vintages - on average three times per decade. However their Gran Reserva '904' is no less prestigious, being made as infrequently as the Gran Reserva '890' but in a different style - old oak rather than new, and aged for nine years rather than 13. A number of critics prefer this more immediately elegant and appealing style. Wine Enthusiast in fact named Gran Reserva 904 as their number one wine in the world in 2016. This year sees the second-ever release of the Gran Reserva 'Vina Arana'. More accessible in terms of price and style, but made with the same painstaking care and attention to detail. La Rioja Alta didn't make either '904' or '890' in 2014, so all their best fruit from this cooler vintage found its way into the Arana. Aged in three-year-old oak for three years, followed by three years in bottle, Tim Atkin MW stamps the wine 'old fashioned Rioja at its glorious best.'