La Rioja Alta "904 Selección Especial" Gran Reserva 2015
(Rioja, Spain) - [JS 98] [PG 97] [TA 96] [VM 95] [WA 95] [WS 93]
Regular price $115.00 Sale price $83.97 Save $31.03
Tempranillo (90%) is the main variety. Grapes are selected from our vineyards in Villalba, Briñas and Rodezno, and are blended with 10% Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard in Fuenmayor.
Tempranillo was the first to be harvested, followed 23 days later by the Graciano from Montecillo. All the grapes were placed in small boxes and transported in refrigerated vehicles to preserve the integrity of the fruit. This vintage was the first that the grapes were optically selected, berry by berry, so only those that met our strictest quality standards were chosen for this wine. Alcoholic fermentation in tanks lasted 21 days and was followed by malolactic fermentation. In January 2016 we selected the finest wines to age them in American oak barrels with an average age of four and a half years and made by our own in-house coopers. After four years in these barrels and traditional rackings -by hand and candlelight- every six months, the final blend was bottled in February 2020.
Ratings & Reviews
98 Points - James Suckling:
"Very impressive complexity and width on the nose, showing lots of savoriness with mushrooms, sandalwood, cedar, sweet spices, dried oranges and tobacco. Really even and juicy on the palate with fine and very present tannins. Juicy, creamy finish lasting a minute. Really elegant and layered. It goes on and on. A real Rioja Gran Reserva and I recommend buying a case! The first vintage that La Rioja Alta labelled ‘Seleccion Especial’. So appealing now, but this will evolve well in the next 20 years." -ZS (8/23/23)
97 Points - Penin Guide:
"COLOUR: cherry, garnet rim AROMA : balanced, complex, ripe fruit, spicy, fine reductive notes, meaty notes, earthy notes FLAVOUR: good structure, flavourful, round tannins, balanced, great length." (5/2022)
96 Points - Tim Atkin, MW:
"One of a pair of current releases of 904, both of them from warmer vintages, this delightful 2015 is a felicitous cuvée of Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. All sourced from higher altitude vineyards, this will reward further time in bottle, showing classic sweet spices, fine tannins, layers of red and black fruits and chalky freshness."
95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"They used the words subtlety, elegance, finesse, delicacy and silk to define the 2015 Gran Reserva 904 Selección Especial, a blend of 90% Tempranillo from their vineyards in Villalba, Briñas and Rodezno with 10% Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard in Fuenmayor that was picked 23 days later than the Tempranillo. The grapes were sorted optically for the first time, and they fermented in stainless steel where the wine went through malolactic too. The wine was put in barrel in January 2016—used American oak barrels built by their own coopers—where it matured for four years, during which time it was racked every six months. 2015 was a healthy vintage with balanced ripeness that delivered wines with good aging potential. They thought the wine needed a little more time in bottle to polish those tannins and have decided to hold it and release the wine around March 2023; it will be marked Selección Especial, the first 904 to do so, as they have very high hopes for this year and believe it's one of the finest vintages. They think it will develop the sophistication in the palate with a little more time and that is should achieve the silkiness that is the signature of 904. This is very 2015; I saw quite strong tannins in all the 2015 wines I tasted from Rioja Alta. Drink 2024-2035." - LG (7/2022)
95 Points - Vinous Media:
"Vivid ruby. Expansive red and blue fruit preserve, tobacco, potpourri, spice and botanical herb aromas, with vanilla and smoky mineral notes emerging as the wine opens up. Sappy, penetrating and gently chewy on the palate, offering vibrant, mineral- and spice-accented black raspberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Shows sharp focus and floral lift on the impressively long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves behind notes of candied blue fruits and spicecake. Drink 2025-2036."
One of Rioja’s most famed bodegas, this 300-hectare estate was established in the heart of Haro in 1890. All of the vineyards are in Rioja Alta, unsurprising given the name. La Rioja Alta has a long-standing reputation for producing some of the region’s best, most traditionally made wines, across the range. Solid value is the rule here, from top to bottom. The entry-level wines are among Rioja’s best values. American oak is used exclusively, and its influence on the wines can be marked, even with age. While that style isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, Tempranillo fans of the old Rioja school, and there are plenty of them, are loyal followers of the estate with good reason." - JR (4/21)
93 Points - Wine Spectator:
"Rich and velvety, with a lovely range of mulled cherry, dark chocolate, herbed olive, eucalyptus, iron and milled pepper notes gliding across the palate in a supple, medium- to full-bodied frame. Reveals fine-grained, chalky tannins that are well-meshed with the dark, aromatic profile, while hints of forest floor and sandalwood linger on the finish. Tempranillo and Graciano. Better than previously reviewed. Drink now through 2035. 12,500 cases made, 3,200 cases imported." - AN (Oct 2023)