Hell man, my first Rioja on the blog! As I’ve just realized that fact, I was definitely a bit shocked, because I’d consider la Rioja as one of my most preferred viticulture regions on this very planet. So, today we'll have another premiere on "Happening Now Tasting"! This time I’d like to introduce you guys to Viña Ardanza Reserva 1994 from the fundamentally amazing famous Bodegas La Rioja Alta. In general Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of 80% Tempranillo from vineyards in Fuenmayor and Cenicero (Rioja Alta, 600m above sea-level) and 20% Garnacha from vineyards in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja). Like most Rioja Alta wines the Ardanza is for sure a “slow wine” in a slightly different sense. A commercial sense maybe! The ageing in American oak barrels takes in average four years for the Tempranillo and two to three years for the Garnacha. Subsequent to the aging in barrel the Viña Ardanza Reserva wines will spend another several years in the bottle before being released to the public. Let’s check it out on “Happening Now” …
Colour: in the core crimson red with a good amount of transparency, on the rim cola colour, very lively fresh seeming viscosity, not oily at all (13% Alc).
Nose: of course some seriously aged, but gentle, American oak vanilla scents; certain Medoc’ish, sorry for that dumb expression, dark cherries; crude coffee, raisins & hazelnuts choco and traces of tar. Certainly the age is evident, however the entire picture seems very lively, absolutely not simple and still full of earthy vigor.
Taste: Right now the acid seems to dominated a bit, there is plenty of dark cherry fruit on the palate (not Medoc’ish), remains of oak flavours are hardly detectable and the structure appears pretty soft, surely cool, vivid and absolutely not "modern style" overpowered. Right now the finish isn’t shabby at all – might even improve!
Nose: the relatively juvenile character of the nose is steadily vanishing, fruit characteristics said farewell, earthy fragrances got more dominating, traces of “old oak” are about to evolve – unfortunately; I hope positive attributes will prevail one or more hours … right now they still do!
Taste: still very present and almost invigoratingly fresh plus a nourishing acid, no substantial changes of whatsoever, perhaps a leap more elegance and sort of sophistication; anyway as long as the taste is persevering I am prettyyyyy good ;-)
Nose: no substantial shift, luckily no deterioration either
Taste: primal characteristics are steady, the body is about to loose a bit of complexity and strength, so does the finish – a bit
Nothing really favorable to report. It is about to say farewell! In conclusion: drink it within two hours and you might have a mostly fantastic ******* down to very decent ****** Tempranillo & Co. experience! A rather classical and pithy (positive sense) one - I guess!