(La Rioja Alta)
The Bodega Rioja Alta is a piece of Riojan living history and at the same time a history of Spanish wines past, present and future. No exaggeration. When it comes to true classics, we cannot think of any substitute for their wines, which are very obviously old style, but we would point out that this is the starting point from which many other Spanish wineries have “drunk from” for many decades. Its story began in 1890 when five Basque and Rioja producers founded the Bodega in Haro’s “Barrio de la Estación”. Today, with many harvests under their belt, the Bodeguero Rioja Alta group owns different wineries in various designations of origin, with very distinct styles, but they have never forgotten their Rioja roots for an instant.
Cherry red hue of medium intensity with a tile-coloured rim, evident in old wines of classic Rioja style.
Very fine, with red fruit but dry, giving way to a wide array of aromas of spice, leather and very sweet, smoked oak.
Good acidity on entry, structure within a medium low volume reflecting the style. Distinct hints of American oak and candied fruit. Good balance. Long finish.
For many it is still a mystery how this wine got its name but the best reference we have is that it was a cuvée created in honour of the year when Bodegas Rioja Alta acquired Bodegas Ardanza (which was in 1904, the number 1 was dropped to avoid confusion) and, from the start, their labels have borne the lovely sketch of the Ona River lined by oak trees. This wine is one of the most traditional they produce. It benefits from four years in American oak barrels which are made in house (they have their own cooperage) and its classic aromas are unmistakable. No doubt here - this 2001 is a great wine. Its texture is fine, elegant, smooth and sweet, perfect for enjoying with food. This is a “must have” for your cellars and we recommend that even those of you who hate Rioja take a second look at this wine to discover our wine origins.