Formed by five families in the late 19th century, the La Rioja Alta S.A. winery has been among the leading producers who have helped to establish and maintain the classic standards of Rioja. Their Tempranillo-led Gran Reservas, aged for remarkably long periods in barrels from the producer’s cooperage, are some of the most sought-after wines from the region. And while they always upheld standards and tradition, La Rioja Alta S.A. never stops experimenting and pushing for better quality, offering some of the purest, precise expressions of Tempranillo in the world.
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 “Seleccion Especial” 2005
890 is La Rioja Alta’s pride and joy and clearly one of Spain’s greatest and most age-worthy wines but the 2005 is a step above most 890 releases. They have chosen to label the wine “Seleccion Especial”. This is only the third vintage in the history of the winery that they have honoured a wine with this special label as they are convinced it is one of their greatest ever wines. The previous wines with this label were 2001 890 Gran Reserva and 2001 Vina Ardanza Reserva – both true Rioja legends.
They only make 890 in the finest vintages (usually around three times a decade) and only release it when they consider it ready to drink. At 14 years old this beauty is just starting to drink but has many decades ahead of it. The winery’s waiting for so long to release one of their greatest ever wines means that this is a true milestone release, showing their total commitment to the experience of the end consumer.
“The aromas to this are stunning with dried strawberry, stone and fresh mushroom. Full body and very tight with incredible depth and structure. It goes on for minutes. One of the greatest ever? The new 1964? Available January 2018.”
98 points, James Suckling