La Rioja Alta Tempranillo Blend Rioja Viña Arana Reserva 2001
The Arana in 2001 was made from 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo and was aged forthree years in third fill American oak casks, then allowed to rest and gathercomposure before release to a suspecting market. The wine has a distinctivealmost crepuscular hue, then classic aromas of menthol, macerated cherry, driedfruit and forest floor. Less exuberant of persona than the Ardanza, this is,allegedly, the one that they love to drink everyday in the Bodega...nogreater endorsement than that is required. The gentle sweetness and underlyingcitric acidity make it a perfect match for typical fat-soaked Spanishdishes. (Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer)
It doesn't get much better than this in an affordable bottle of wine (€13-€14 in Madrid), but it all depends on what you're looking for. If you're chasing new oak, gobs of fruit and concentrated power, this won't be for you. This is one of the most classic, elegant wines from Spain. It's got everything: depth, distinct flavors, classy and dusty red- and black-berry fruit that's mellowed beautifully with its years in barrel and in bottle, nice balancing acidity, and an evocative nose that suggests, well, maybe the wine knows something that you don't. If you put it in a tasting with other Riojas, I suspect it would "lose" (whether against super-oaked-modern-styled Riojas or even the same producer's Viña Ardanza, also a terrific, if different, wine). Then again, if you threw it in as a ringer with some 1er cru Nuits-St-Georges from a riper year like '99, well, that would be an interesting comparison. But why bother. This is a delicious wine that doesn't strive to impress--it does have traditional American oak, and this is just how they make it, year in, year out. Once you open this, you're just going to want to keep drinking it until the bottle is empty, as will your guests, so stock up.
Really good wine for the price.
Three and a half glasses
External Reviews for La Rioja Alta Tempranillo Blend Rioja Viña Arana Reserva
The Vi¤a Alberdi is made of mostly Tempranillo grapes, with a hint of Mazuelo. Very traditional in style, this wine exhibits roasted coffee bean, plum, and leather on the nose, always remaining delicate on the palate.