|Spain||2011||Rioja Gran Reserva 904, La Rioja Alta||BT||69||0||430.00||12||828||47.777777333333||94.00||94.00||Rioja Gran Reserva 904, Rioja Alta||0.75|
|Spain||2011||Rioja Gran Reserva 904, La Rioja Alta||MG||1||0||430.00||6||6||47.777776||94.00||94.00||Rioja Gran Reserva 904, Rioja Alta||1.5|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
I usually prefer the 904 to the 890, but there will be no Gran Reserva 890 until the 2010 vintage (from the last vintage I tasted, 2005). So, the only one of the extended-aging Haro-style reds I tasted this time was the 2011 Gran Reserva 904, which had a hard act to follow after the 2010 vintage. It's a blend of 89% Tempranillo and 11% Graciano matured in American oak barrels for four years, and it was racked eight times from barrel to barrel during its élevage, which sounds a bit harsh for a vintage like 2011 when the wines were not as complete and robust as in 2010. It has the classic profile, aromas and flavors (decayed leaves, tobacco, sweet spices, a meaty touch and some black fruit), but the oak seems to take a more leading role and the palate feels less juicy. It finishes dry. The final blend was bottled in November 2016, filling 150,000 bottles. 2020-2030
The 2011 Rioja Gran Reserva 904 has been one of my go-to cuvées since my earliest days as a wine lover. This latest release is a blend of 60-year-old Tempranillo from Briñas, Rodenzo and Villalba (89%) and the remainder Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard. Fully de-stemmed and aged for 54 months in American oak, it was bottled in November 2016. This is more reticent and less forthcoming on the nose compared to the Viña Ardanza, gradually unfolding to reveal enticing scents of raspberry, crushed strawberry, warm leather, terra cotta and a touch of meat juice. This needed more decanting than the Ardanza. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins, and ultra-smooth in terms of texture. Layers of red fruit laced with clove, sprigs of fresh mint and blood orange dovetail into a soy-tinged finish that you expect to fan out, though it declines; it needs maybe another 12–18 months to really show what it is capable of. Magnificent. Drink 2022-2040.
A mid-deep garnet colour, the nose here is rich, savoury and complex, with briary fruits, tanned leather and layers of toasted spices. The palate is pure Rioja - a harmony of game, tobacco, glossy berry fruits and soft, integrated tannins. Cashmere in texture, this is ready to drink already. The fleshy, brambly fruit interlays with notes of mocha and leather through to a fine, long finish. Drink over the next 10 years.