La Rioja Alta, Rioja Reserva DOC (Spain) “Viña Ardanza” 2016

($42):  La Rioja Alta is one of Rioja’s top producers.  Their Viña Ardanza, an exquisite blend of Tempranillo (80%) and Garnacha, brings both red fruit and savory nuances together.  Subtle mature hints add complexity and intrigue.  Suavely textured, the emphasis is on elegance and stature, not power.  A delicate hint of bitterness in the finish reminds us that this is not a fruit-laden powerhouse.  Indeed, it does not overwhelm initially, but wham, it sneaks up on you.  It’s a joy to drink.
95 Michael Apstein Feb 28, 2023