La Rioja Alta

2010 Vina Ardanza


Why We Love It:

Founded in 1890 and neighbours of Rioja greats like Lopez de Heredia and Muga in the village of Haro, La Rioja Alta straddles the line between ancient winemaking tradition and modern technology and research. With over 1,000 acres of vineyards in the Rioja Alta portion of the Rioja, La Rioja Alta has an extensive array of terroirs to draw from when comprising its final blends.

Vina Ardanza is a benchmark example of what great Rioja is meant to be. Comprised of blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, Vina Ardanza is aged for 36 months in American Oak barrels, rounding its core of deep red fruit and balsamic notes with just a touch of sweet vanilla. Though it qualifies to be released as a Gran Reserva, Vina Ardanza is declassified and always released as a Reserva.

Recipes & Food Pairings:

The 2010 edition of Vina Ardanza comes from a superior vintage, making it richer and plusher than previous vintages. This deep ripe fruit core makes it ideally suited to pairing with braised meats and boldly spiced and seasoned meats. Here are three great ideas to try with this wine:

Thai Curry Pork Ribs – RECIPE
Pork Shoulder Braised w/ Apples – RECIPE
Moroccan Spiced Hanger Steak w/ Warm Lentil & Carrot Salad – RECIPE


BOTTLE: $59.95

CASE: $359.40 (case of 12 bottles)


Technical Specs:

ALCOHOL: 13.6%


Case Pack: 6 x 750mL

GRAPES: 80% Tempranillo & 20% Garnacha

CLOSURE: Natural Cork



Tasting Notes:

“2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial (what used to be Reserva Especial) that can challenge any of the recent vintages and hopefully can develop in bottle to reach the heights of years like 1973 or 1964. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. A great Viña Ardanza! They have managed to produce 600,000 bottles of this—and apparently in one single lot. It was bottled in May 2015.”

95/100 Points

“Ardanza is a classic, pan-regional Rioja, blending Tempranillo from the Rioja Alta with 20% Garnacha from Tudelilla in the Rioja Oriental. It’s a richer, plusher wine than the 2008, reflecting the warmer vintage, but it’s not remotely ponderous. Floral, fine and very complete with fennel and sweet Asian spices, tangy acidity and deftly handled American oak. Drink date: 2018-2026.”

95/100 Points

Tim Atkin, MW

La Rioja – 2010 Vina Ardanza