La Rioja Alta 2015 Vina Ardanza Reserva 750ml
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I tasted two vintages of their sleek and polished blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, the oldest of which is the 2015 Viña Ardanza Reserva. It's a blend of 78% Tempranillo and 22% Garnacha (because they found that they needed a little more volume in the wine) from a powerful, warm and ripe year, very interesting to compare with the 2016. They consider 2015 a very good vintage; they compare it with 2001, a year when they produced all the wines. There are three wines from 2015, and there is something in common in all thee wines. The grapes were picked in mid-October and put through optical sorting to ferment followed by malolactic until the end of the year. The wine matured in used American oak barrels—the Tempranillo for 36 months with six manual rackings and the Garnacha for 30 months with five rackings. I find it to be more tertiary, with hints of leather and cured meat and a little wild, very spicy. It has a powerful palate with plenty of tannin, and it even feels that it needs some more polishing of perhaps powerful food... The final blend was bottled in September 2019. No 2013 or 2014 were produced. 300,000 bottles produced.
Score: 94 points -- Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, July 2022
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