Wine of the Week #1514: Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904

[ 2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 ]

PROFILE | La Rioja Alta S.A.

PURCHASE | La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904

[ Farming & Vineyards ]

This wines is composed of a blend of Tempranillo (90%) from 40+ year old vineyards across 3 municipalities in the Rioja Alta and Graciano (10%) from 3 different single vineyard plots. This layering of flavours joins forces with an exceptional growing season to yield one of the finest La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 bottlings in recent memory. The significant shifts from day to night temperatures – which characterized the 2004 growing season – ensured steady and even ripening and allowed for longer than normal hang time leading to outstanding ripeness and complexity. The Graciano in particular benefitted from this longer growing season, thus yielding a wine projecting outstanding cellaring potential.

[ Winemaking & Aging ]

Fermentation followed its normal course after the 2004 harvest and wines were transferred to 4 year old American oak barrels in early January. La Rioja Alta S.A. continues to fabricate its own barrels in-house, thus ensuring a consistency and standard unique to this producer. The wine remained in barrel until early January 2009 – and was racked every 6 months using the traditional “barrel to barrel” method. The 2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 was bottled in February 2009 and was allowed to rest and further integrate before its release to market.

[ Price ]


CASE: $384


[ Technical Specs ]



Case Pack: 6 x 750mL

GRAPES: 90% Tempranillo & 10% Graciano

[ Recipes & Food Pairings ]

Steak Tartare Crostini w/ White Truffle – RECIPE

Whisky & Maple Marinted Lamb Tenderloin – RECIPE

Porcini & Goat Cheese Risotto – RECIPE

[ Tasting Notes ]

“The 2004 Gran Reserva 904 is Tempranillo from Brinas, Labastida and Villalba balanced with 10% Graciano from Briones and Rodezno. The grapes were fermented and macerated in inox vats for 14 days at 28º C, and malolactic fermentation lasted 28 days. The wine aged for 4 years in used American oak barrels averaging 4 years old, during which time it was manually racked 8 times. 150,000 bottles were filled. This 2004, from a superb vintage shows a beautiful light red color with a brick rim and a superb nose redolent of balsamic woods, spices, leather, well-hung meat, incense and truffles. The light to medium-bodied palate shows fully resolved tannins, great acidity and pure, pungent flavors that linger in the mouth forever and that can only be Rioja. This is a wine to smell over and over again. It might sound like an exaggeration, but this wine is still too young and you should wait a little bit and drink the superb 2001 vintage which should still be available on the market while this one matures in bottle. At this quality level the price is superb especially considering that the wine is being released 10 years after the vintage. Drink 2016-2024.”

96/100 Points

Luis Gutierrez /

Bright, deep cherry-red in colour, with a light brick rim. Intense, elegant and complex aromas, with outstanding balsamic, vanilla, coconut, chocolate and truffle wrapped around a core of candied fruit. Well-balanced in the mouth, with elegant acidity and fine, silky, enveloping tannins. A long and complex finish, with hints of roasted coffee, spices, and candied fruit. A wine that continues to evolve and develop even more finesse and elegance in bottle during the passage of time.

Winemakers Notes

Wine of the Week #1514: 2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904


#Cherry #Blackberry #Cedar #Coffee


#Beef #Lamb #Mushroom #Cheese


More about Andrew Hanna

Pulling corks and pushing cases as a third generation wine importer in Ontario, Canada selling fine wines and spirits produced by families - not factories. Get the full story at

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