#22 Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2013 "Cedar, tobacco and spice hints frame dried cherry, berry and vanilla notes in this silky red. The flavors mingle nicely,
framed by juicy acidity and light but firm tannins. The wine has a lovely, weightless intensity. A fine example of the
traditional style. Drink now through 2020. -TM" (09/13) - 94PtsWine Spectator
"The 2004 Vina Ardanza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from 30-year-old vines in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. It is aged for 36 months in four-year-old American oak. It has a very enticing bouquet with dark cherry, Christmas cake, dried fig and espresso with fine delineation and bags of exuberance. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins, underpinned by a keen citric thread that cuts through the licorice-tinged, dark berry and allspice-tinged fruit with style. It is simply delicious on the bittersweet finish. Drink now-2020+"
"La Rioja Alta formed part of my "classic Rioja" day that included Lopez de Heredia and Muga, the triumvirate of wineries in Haro all but a minute’s stroll from each other (which would have been fine, but for the spontaneous downpours). I have admired their wines for many years, Rioja that speaks so eloquently and with such clarity of their place. La Rioja Alta was founded in the town of Haro in 1890. They own 450 hectares of vineyard from which their entire portfolio is sourced, predominantly Tempranillo complemented by Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha. Another tenet is their use of American rather than French oak. The wood is cured for two years outdoors before being shaped and hammered into barrels at their own cooperage. Although the estate owns vines in Ribera del Duero and Rias Baixas (to be covered in later reports) I focused upon recent releases from their two Rioja lines: Torre de Ona and of course, La Rioja Alta itself. Quite simply, these are some of the finest Riojas that can grace your cellar: complex, refined, classic but without compromising fruit intensity and to reiterate: wines that speak about where they come from." (08/12) - 93PtsNeal Martin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2004 Reserva has been in bottle for 1 year but will not be released for another 2 years. I would not be surprised if it eventually was labeled Reserva Especial, it is that good. Deep purple in color, it exhibits an enticing bouquet of Asian spices, balsamic, tobacco, and black cherry. On the palate, it effortlessly combines power and elegance. It should easily evolve for 10-15 years and drink well for 20-30 years. Given the modest price at release, it seems foolish for lovers of traditional Rioja not to invest in a case."
"La Rioja Alta was founded in 1890 in Haro, the capital of Rioja Alta, in close proximity to Lopez de Heredia and Marques de Riscal. The Bodega's wines are all blends, there are no single vineyard wines, and all of the wines are produced from estate-grown grapes. During my visit in May, 2010, I had the opportunity to taste verticals of 2 of La Rioja Alta’s wines, Vina Ardanza Reserva and Gran Reserva 904. Vina Ardanza’s wines are labeled Reserva with three exceptions. In what La Rioja Alta considers the greatest years (there have been three to date, 2001, 1973, and 1964) the wine is called Reserva Especial. There are usually four vintages a decade of La Rioja Alta's Gran Reserva 904. It is made from a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano and aged for 5 years in barrel and 5 years in bottle prior to release." (06/10) - 93+PtsJay Miller - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Vivid ruby-red. Suave, spicy red fruit preserve and potpourri scents are complicated by notes of vanilla, licorice and mocha. Sappy, focused and energetic, offering sweet raspberry and cherry-cola flavors that are given lift by juicy acidity. Impressively pure and penetrating on the finish, which leaves floral pastille and smoky mineral notes behind." (10/13) - 92PtsJosh Raynolds - International Wine Cellar