The renowned publication Decanter has announced the best wines of the year that just ended, a select collection of 51 references from around the world chosen from thousands of wines examined by its tasting panel, which comprise the awaited Decanter Wines of the Year 2021 list.
Only one winery in the world, La Rioja Alta, S.A., has seen two of its wines listed in this exclusive ranking by the UK magazine: 2005 Gran Reserva 890 'Selección Especial' and 2011 Gran Reserva 904. Both wines earned 97 points, placing them as the two top reds in Spain and, in addition, the only Rioja reds to appear in the recently-published article.
For Decanter, the 2005 vintage of the Gran Reserva 890 is “deep and powerful, showing Rioja in its full glory,” and the 2011 Gran Reserva 904 particularly stands out for its smooth tannins, being both “graceful and elegant.”
This is undoubtedly great news for the Haro-based winery, earning yet another major international recognition for two of its most famous wines, undeniable benchmarks of the classic Rioja Gran Reserva style that have perfectly adapted to the 21st century.
These two wines are the result of an exhaustive process that begins in the vineyards owned by La Rioja Alta, S.A. with the selection, only on extraordinary vintages, of the best Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo grapes of the house. These come from old vines, over 40 years old, and are painstakingly vinified before starting a slow and meticulous aging process in American oak barrels made in-house: six years in the case of Gran Reserva 890 and four years for the Gran Reserva 904.
Complexity, subtlety, finesse and a unique range of registers define these two wines from the winery presided by Guillermo de Aranzabal. Their very limited production and strong international demand requires that they be released according to strict quotas for each of its markets, which currently number more than 70 countries.