Honest Grapes - La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva
Viña Ardanza 2012 is a blend of 80% Tempranillo from the La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards in the Rioja Alta subregion, and 20% Garnacha from La Perdriza in Rioja Oriental. This Garnacha is the key to Ardanza’s structure, aromatics, and concentration: these vines are actually higher in altitude than most of the Rioja Alta subzone, and sit on barren, free-draining soils made up with large pudding-stones similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. These two varieties are harvested and vinified separately, ageing around three years in American oak barrels which are produced in-house by La Rioja Alta S.A.’s own cooperage. During the maturation, the wine is racked by hand and by candlelight; La Rioja Alta S.A. are one of the handful of producers still to use this traditional technique in Rioja which ensure supple tannins and the savoury flavours that so defines their style. It is also worth nothing is that the wine can qualify as a Gran Reserva, but in order to keep the wine in this price point, it is labelled as Reserva.