La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva 2012
WA94: Garnacha is an important component in the 2012 Viña Ardanza Reserva, where it represents 20% of the blend (the rest is, of course, Tempranillo). 2011 was a difficult vintage for Garnacha, so Viña Ardanza was not produced that year and they jumped from 2010, which had the mention "Selección Especial," to 2012, where it returns to the regular Reserva. The wine is a prototype of polished and aged Rioja with a ruby color with some orange and a developed nose with subtle aromas of decayed leaves, sweet spices and some cherries in liqueur even, quite complex and harmonious. The palate is velvety but rich, with resolved tannins and a fine chalky mouthfeel, sleek and elegant, terribly balanced. The flavors are pure and defined, and there is an overall sense of harmony that I like very much. Brilliant Ardanza! They produced no less than 600,000 bottles of this wine, which is remarkable. It has been in bottle since March 2016, so it's very approachable but should also age nicely in bottle.
VM93: Bright ruby-red. Vibrant, spice- and mineral-accented scents of fresh red fruits, succulent herbs and spicecake are complemented by an emerging floral overtone. Juicy and pliant in the mouth, offering gently sweet raspberry, cherry cola, spicecake and rose pastille flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. In an energetic style, showing fine clarity and silky tannins that frame a long, smooth finish.