2004 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva #890

Year: 2004
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 94+
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 94
Wine Enthusiast: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
$119.95

JUST MIND-BLOWING!!

"Tea, tobacco, cedar and spice notes mingle with deeper licorice, plum and iron flavors in this savory red. The texture is supple and polished, but there's a firm tannic backbone. Focused and harmonious, in the traditional style. Drink now through 2024. 1,166 cases made. –TM " (WS)

"The 2004 Gran Reserva 890 is the top of the range here, a wine that is only released three/four times per decade in exceptional years. They start by sourcing grapes from their oldest vineyards and going through a slow process of aging the wine in American oak barrels for six years, with ten manual rackings, and each time there is a selection of only the best barrels. The bottled wine is 13.5% alcohol with a remarkably low pH (3.0) that to me means 'quality' of the acidity, which is a healthy six grams per liter (in tartaric). The nose is all about forest floor aromas, game, cigar ash, incense, old furniture and some smoked meat. The palate shows what the technical data was hinting--very fresh with slightly dusty tannins and nice acidity. It's polished, but feels livelier than some older vintages. 38,000 numbered bottles.

La Rioja Alta is not resting on their laurels, as they are investing nine million Euros in improving their vineyards and winery, including an optical sorting table. Vintages seem to be going fast and if the last time (16 months ago) I reviewed the 2001 vintage from their top wine, they are already showing the 2004." (WA)

"Vivid red. The nose displays an array of ripe red fruits, pungent flowers and exotic spices, with vanilla bean and coconut accents building with air. Sweet, broad and luscious, offering intense cherry-vanilla and raspberry liqueur flavors that deepen on the back half. Shows excellent depth as well as finesse, with velvety tannins adding shape to the very long, gripping finish. This suave, seamless Rioja spent six years in American oak barrels." (VM)

"Slightly dusty nose here showing ripe strawberries with savory and herbal undertones. Medium body, very silky tannins and a long and fruity finish. Beautiful length and finesse. The real deal. Drink now." (JS)

"Lightly rusty in color, this outstanding gran reserva is just now entering its golden years, which should endure for another two decades or so. Aromas of raisin, malt, tobacco and cedar are beautiful. This is tight and sinewy in feel, with rooty, creamy, classic Rioja flavors of vanilla, tobacco and dried red fruits. A lasting, stout finish isn't breaking down at all; drink through 2040." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Winemaker's Notes:
Ruby-red with an intense orange rim, medium-depth, clean and bright. Very intense aromas with a classic bouquet with outstanding balsamic and spicy notes - coconut, vanilla and chocolate mints wrapped in hints of ripe fruit. Great body and structure in the mouth, with balanced tannins ofexceptional elegance and finesse, leaving a very long, spicy, complex aftertaste. A unique Gran Reserva 890 which looks forward to a long life in the bottle.

Blend:
95% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano, 2% Mazuelo