La Rioja Alta Masterclass

La Rioja Alta Masterclass

Last night we hosted a fabulous La Rioja Alta Boardroom Masterclass. We were lucky enough to have Francisco Corpas, one of the La Rioja Alta Export Directors joining us for the tasting to take us through a fine selection of wines.

There were 8 Waud Wine Club members with us for the evening, where we tried 6 wines from the La Rioja Alta stable.

First up was their Albarino from Galicia, 2018 Pazo de Seoane. From their 75 hectares single plot vineyard, this wine was beautifully balanced with tropical notes that made for a very easy drinking wine. A wine to be consumed in the next year for maximum enjoyment. (88 points)

We then moved to their Ribera del Duero property and tasted 2014 Aster Crianza. 100% Tempranillo or Tinta del Pais, this structured wine had excellent purity of fruit. Notes of coffee and spice – with smooth and silky tanins.  (89-91 points)

Now to their Rioja estates. First up was 2014 Vina Alberdi Reserva. The wines made with American Oak typically have a liquorice nose. This 100% Tempranillo was gentle and light on the palate, but structured, smooth and elegant. The wine enjoyed 2 years in barrel and then 3 years in bottle. (90 points)

Turning the page a the tasting, and a noticeable change in gear – where everyone was eulogising over the next 3 wines.

2010 Viña Ardanza, ‘Selección Especial’ is a wine that sold incredibly well during En Primeur – and subsequently was the best selling En Primeur wines we have ever had. As La Rioja Alta only release wines when they are ready to drink, this 2010 is drinking perfectly. 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, this wine has beautiful dark fruit – is clean, complex and has smoky notes. Francisco tells us this is their best Ardanza made so far – and it is hard to argue with him. At £25 per bottle, this wine is still HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and was the top selling wine of the night – and we look to try and get hold of this in limited production Jeroboam format in due course. (94 points)

Next up, 2012 Gran Reserva Vina Arana. 95% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano. Again liquorice and menthol notes – a fresh, clean and elegant wine with a spicey finish. 3 years in American Oak barrel, then 4 years in bottle. This is a Gran Reserva designed for the younger generation, before they can afford to start buying the 904 wines, that we were lucky enough to have next! (92+ points)

2010 Gran Reserva 904 in MAGNUM format. Not even Francisco had tasting the 2010 904 in Magnum before this tasting, and it was a wine with the WOW FACTOR. Delicate, fresh notes of liquourish and blackcurrant with beautiful balance – 6 years in barrel, 3 years in bottle, a wine only made 4 times per decade. The top gun wine from the evening, what a treat. (95-96 points)

Many thanks to those that attended, a very enjoyable evening indeed.

Click here to see the Wine Tasting list.