Supreme old school Rioja, like a time warp to the finest Spanish red of forty years ago. La Rioja Alta pride themselves on traditional style, not drink-young fashion. They produce 4 vintages of this wine every decade on average, and it spends 4 years in barrel then 5 years in bottle before release. This had all the best quality fruit and American oak, with these impeccable ingredients contributing directly to a red of massive depth, structure and savoury complexity.
16.5+/20 Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, March 2020 (2011 Vintage)
"A mid-deep garnet colour, the nose here is rich, savoury and complex, with briary fruits, tanned leather and layers of toasted spices. The palate is pure Rioja – a harmony of game, tobacco, glossy berry fruits and soft, integrated tannins. Cashmere in texture, this is ready to drink already. The fleshy, brambly fruit interlays with notes of mocha and leather through to a fine, long finish. Drink over the next 10 years."
Reviews for the previous vintage below…
98/100 James Suckling (2010 Vintage)
"Fresh blueberries and brambleberries take centre stage, which is striking for a wine of this age. There are also lots of roasted herbs, such as sage, not to mention floral elements, including lavender and dried violets. Then come cedar, sandalwood and tar. The tannins are incredibly round and soft, without the slightest hint of anything dry. This is among the most elegant of Riojas, where the acidity is wonderfully pronounced and cuts right through any touch of dried fruit. Long and powerful, yet subtle on the finish. Drink now, or hold for a very long time"
97/100 Tim Atkin MW (2010 Vintage)
"A step up on the memorable 2009, this shows just how special the 2010 vintage was. Marrying fruit from Briñas, Villalba and Rodezno, it's a perfectly judged marriage of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano. Savoury wild herb notes segue into a palate that's focused, balanced and graceful with the concentration and backbone to age."
97/100 Decanter Magazine (2009 Vintage)
"One of the Rioja classics, a unique compromise between graceful, long ageing and lively fruit expression. Silky and gentle, a feast for the senses."
95+/100 Luiz Gutierrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2009 Vintage)
"Time flies, and the 904 for sale is already the 2009 Gran Reserva 904, as they didn't bottle it in 2008. They are only going to bottle their top wines in very good and excellent vintages, so there will be a 2010 and 2011 but no 2012, 2013 or 2014. This super classical cuvée showcases the wines from Haro, silky and elegant after long aging in oak and a good future in bottle. 2009 was a powerful vintage, ripe but with good balance. The blend is approximately 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, fermented in stainless steel with a 78-day natural malolactic. The aging was in four-year-old American oak barrels crafted by their own coopers; the wines aged from April 2010 until April 2014. During that time, the wine was racked every six months, to be finally bottled in November 2014. This is usually my favorite wine from the portfolio, where the balance between aging and youth reaches its highest point. It's developed but it keeps some fruit character, plenty of spices and balsamic aromas. The palate is polished but has some clout, with clean, focused flavors and a long, spicy and tasty finish. This represents good value for the quality it delivers. 150,000 bottles produced. Because they didn't produce 890 in 2009, the grapes for the 890 were in this 904. As a curiosity, they uncorked a 1982, which was superb. Drink 2018 – 2034."