The 2004 Gran Reserva 904 is Tempranillo from Brinas, Labastida and Villalba balanced with 10% Graciano from Briones and Rodezno. The grapes were fermented and macerated in inox vats for 14 days at 28Âº C, and malolactic fermentation lasted 28 days. The wine aged for 4 years in used American oak barrels averaging 4 years old, during which time it was manually racked 8 times. 150,000 bottles were filled. This 2004, from a superb vintage shows a beautiful light red color with a brick rim and a superb nose redolent of balsamic woods, spices, leather, well-hung meat, incense and truffles. The light to medium-bodied palate shows fully resolved tannins, great acidity and pure, pungent flavors that linger in the mouth forever and that can only be Rioja. This is a wine to smell over and over again. It might sound like an exaggeration, but this wine is still too young and you should wait a little bit and drink the superb 2001 vintage which should still be available on the market while this one matures in bottle. At this quality level the price is superb especially considering that the wine is being released 10 years after the vintage. Drink 2016-2024.
La Rioja Alta has tremendously improved its wines in the last few years while keeping faithful to the most classical style. They have always been hugely popular in Spain, but they seem to be selling their wines faster and donâ€™t produce every cuvee in every vintage and as a result had very few new wines to show. Vina Ardanza jumped from 2001 to 2004, and the next vintage will be 2005. Followers of traditional Rioja are very lucky as both the 904 as the 890 coming on the market are from great vintages and are superb.
Polished and harmonious, this traditional red offers dried berry, vanilla, tobacco and spice flavors, with light, firm tannins and lively acidity. The smoky, spicy finish is long and alluring. Drink now through 2019. 12,500 cases made.