Rioja Gran Reserva 'Vina Arana', La Rioja Alta 2012
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The La Rioja estate, founded in 1895 in the region of the same name, needs no introduction to lovers of Spanish wines and ranks alongside some of the best producers of Bordeaux and Burgundy in terms of quality and style. The 2012 vintage of Vina Arana is the first to be promoted to Gran Reserva from its previous Reserva incarnation and joins its renowned and much more expensive Gran Reserva stablemates the '890' and '904' wines. The blend is 95% Tempranillo from 40 year old vines in Las Cuevas, El Palo and Las Monjas in Rodezno, with 5% Graciano from the Montecillo estate in Fuenmayor. Both varieties were aged separately for three years in three year old American oak barrels then blended and aged a subsequent three years in bottle. I tried this in early April and, needless to say, recommend it absolutely: complex aromas of red fruits, cedar, vanilla, a touch of smokiness, then ripe, fresh berry/plum fruit, earthy spice and balsamic with soft tannins, this is above all refined, balanced and elegant with potential to develop for another 5-10 years at least.
*Available for collection/delivery from 22 May 2019*