2009 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva #904

Year: 2009
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 95+
James Suckling: 97
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
$49.95
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2018 JAMES SUCKLING SPAIN'S TOP 100: #8

"This red shows a vibrant maturity, with tea and leather notes accenting red plum, orange peel and spice flavors in a round, polished texture. Bright acidity and well-integrated tannins give this structure. Graceful and expressive. Drink now through 2024. 12,500 cases made. –TM " (WS)

"Time flies, and the 904 for sale is already the 2009 Gran Reserva 904, as they didn't bottle it in 2008. They are only going to bottle their top wines in very good and excellent vintages, so there will be a 2010 and 2011 but no 2012, 2013 or 2014. This super classical cuvée showcases the wines from Haro, silky and elegant after long aging in oak and a good future in bottle. 2009 was a powerful vintage, ripe but with good balance. The blend is approximately 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, fermented in stainless steel with a 78-day natural malolactic. The aging was in four-year-old American oak barrels crafted by their own coopers; the wines aged from April 2010 until April 2014. During that time, the wine was racked every six months, to be finally bottled in November 2014. This is usually my favorite wine from the portfolio, where the balance between aging and youth reaches its highest point. It's developed but it keeps some fruit character, plenty of spices and balsamic aromas. The palate is polished but has some clout, with clean, focused flavors and a long, spicy and tasty finish. This represents good value for the quality it delivers. 150,000 bottles produced. Because they didn't produce 890 in 2009, the grapes for the 890 were in this 904. As a curiosity, they uncorked a 1982, which was superb." (WA)

"This is a driven and super tight Gran Reserva with dark berries and hints of spice and cedar. A spicy red-pepper undertone and some dried flowers. Full to medium body, integrated tannins and a superb finish. A great wine. Available in September 2018. A wine for the cellar, but why wait?" (JS)

Winery Notes:
Vintage:
Winter water reserves enabled the grapes to reach the end of the cycle in a balanced condition, despite significant heat and drought during the summer. Rain in mid September slowed down grape ripening, resulting in good alcoholic and phenolic balance. It was a decisive turning point, producing a high-quality vintage as, after that, we enjoyed favourable weather that made this Gran Reserva possible.

Vineyards:
Tempranillo (90%) and Graciano (10%) from vines over 60 years old in vineyards in Briñas, Labastida and Villalba.

Winemaking and Ageing:
The grapes were collected in boxes and transported to the winery in refrigerated vehicles to preserve all their integrity. After gentle destemming and crushing, the musts were put in stainless steel tanks where they underwent alcoholic fermentation at a controlled temperature for 17 days. Batches were selected and allowed to complete malolactic fermentation naturally over 78 days. In April 2010, the wine was transferred to 4-year-old American oak barrels (made in-house), where it stayed until April 2014. During ageing, the wine was racked every six months using traditional barrel-to-barrel methods. The final blend was bottled in November 2014.

Tasting:
Outstandingly intense cherry-red; clean and bright. The nose reveals a bouquet of great aromatic complexity, with balsamic notes of vanilla, toasted caramel, mint chocolate, tea leaves and cinnamon that gives way to elegant notes of stewed fruits and prunes. Creamy, well-balanced mouthfeel, with a harmonious freshness and smooth, well-tamed tannins that leave an elegant, complex finish.


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