La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial (375ML half-bottle) 2001
The 2001 Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from their vineyards in Fuenmayor and Rioja Baja respectively and it represents only the third vintage to be declared after 1964 and 1973. Aged in American cask for 36 months, it has a bucolic, natural bouquet of bright red cherries, balsamic, mint and a touch of dried honey all with superb delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with wonderful delineation and supple, lithe tannins. The acidity is very well judged and it leads to a pert, tense finish of bitter cherry, loganberry and licorice. This is an outstanding wine drinking perfectly now, but it should age effortlessly. Drink now-2030.
The wine was lovely. It was quite full-bodied, yet classically supple and fresh, with bright cherry fruit accented with mineral, licorice and smoke notes. I rated it 92 points, non-blind, and reflected that—at the highest levels of quality, such as Pingus and Ardanza, and given some age—somehow modern and traditional began to resemble each other in true and lovely ways.
Deep red. Sexy, intensely perfumed bouquet of ripe raspberry and cherry with suggestions of potpourri, sandalwood and vanilla. Shows more power and darker fruits on the palate, picking up a touch of singed plum that adds a serious quality to the sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors without costing the wine any of its vibrancy. The long, sweet finish hangs on with very good tenacity.