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La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 2011

La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 2011

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"I usually prefer the 904 to the 890, but there will be no Gran Reserva 890 until the 2010 vintage (from the last vintage I tasted, 2005). So, the only one of the extended-aging Haro-style reds I tasted this time was the 2011 Gran Reserva 904, which had a hard act to follow after the 2010 vintage. It's a blend of 89% Tempranillo and 11% Graciano matured in American oak barrels for four years, and it was racked eight times from barrel to barrel during its élevage, which sounds a bit harsh for a vintage like 2011 when the wines were not as complete and robust as in 2010. It has the classic profile, aromas and flavors (decayed leaves, tobacco, sweet spices, a meaty touch and some black fruit), but the oak seems to take a more leading role and the palate feels less juicy. It finishes dry. The final blend was bottled in November 2016, filling 150,000 bottles. Drink: 2020-2030. 94 points

La Rioja Alta has purchased Rioja Santiago, another of the historical names in the Barrio de la Estación from Haro. They currently have 467 hectares of vineyards that supply 100% of their grape needs to produce close to 1.5 million bottles per year. These are classical Riojas for the most-traditional American-oak-loving public. The wines from their other property in Rioja, Torre de Oña, have a more modern profile."

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (251)