Also available in half-bottle/375ml
Neal Martin writes in Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Vina Arana Reserva, a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo that is aged in oak for 36 months, has a well-defined vibrant chocolate-tinged bouquet with touches of saddle-leather, cinnamon and ox-blood that unfurl beautifully in the glass. The palate is very well-balanced with a caressing, sensual texture and subtle leather and peppermint notes on the finish. This is a wonderful Rioja that momentarily transports you to the vineyard. Drink 2014-2025+."
Josh Raynolds writes in International Wine Cellar: "Dark red. Deeply pitched cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complemented by smoked meat, licorice and a hint of leather. Chewy, palate-staining dark fruit flavors are slow to unfold, eventually showing a sweet floral pastille quality and a hint of bitter cherry pit. Finishes with solid tannic grip and a lingering note of candied rose. Give this some time."
It seems like this winery just comes up with one hit after another these days. Could be the result of the vintages as here we move from the enormously popular Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001 (Advocate 94+, $29.99), which we are amazingly still able to procure (the economy in Spain must be really bad) to this Viña Arana 2004. Another example of this bodega’s beautiful execution of the traditional style, this one is bursting with currant and plum fruit with some spicy highlights and a touch a dusty earth. The acidity supports the fruit perfectly and even at age 9 this wine is just getting going. Made from 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo, the wine was put in barrels averaging 4 years of age for a period of three years and racked every six months. That’s pretty standard stuff (since you have minimums by law as to how long you must age a wine in barrel and bottle before you can call it reserva), but the results are anything but standard. What’s the difference between the two wines? Ardanza is Tempranillo with a good bit of Grenache as opposed to nearly all Tempranillo. So the Arana has a touch more punch. It is also said to be from some of the highest vineyards in Rioja Alta. Otherwise, it’s just about delicious Rioja and really a pretty complete wine with some bottle age for a great price. Stock Report February 2013