Francisco Corpas and Julio Sáenz from La Rioja Alta joined us live for an exclusive skype preview tasting to celebrate the release of the La Rioja Alta S.A. Gran Reserva 890 2005. The hugely anticipated release has been the talk of the office, with high expectations for the “Seleccion Especial”.
Armit Wines are both priviledged and delighted to have been granted world-wide exclusivity for the release, securing the largest allocation of any other agent. This is only the third time, in the 175 year history of the winery, that they have honoured a wine with this special label, as they are convinced it is one of their greatest ever wines.
At 13 years old this sleeping beauty is just starting to drink well, but it has many decades ahead of it. The winery waits until the wine is perfectly matured and only when they are certain it is ready to drink, do they release it to the market, and not a moment sooner. Waiting for so long to release one of their greatest ever wines means that this is a true milestone release, showing their total commitment to the experience of the end consumer.
A blend of 95% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo, the wine was matured for 6 years with 10 traditional rackings. Only the very best barrels were then selected, with 199 making it into the final blend.
The intensity of the wine is immediately visible from the deep, rich colouring and the fresh, crisp nose which is both pure and refined, with notes of old leather, cigar and spice. The palate is full of character, precision and finesse. Its classic Rioja bouquet stands out, big, complex and round, with an elegant finish.
Julio Sáenz, winemaker at La Rioja Alta S.A. comments: “We are delighted with the Gran Reserva 890 2005 'Selección Especial' and truly believe this to be one of the best wines that we have ever produced.” He went on to note that, "the 2005 has a higher intensity and much greater aging potential than the 2001 Gran Reserva 890 'Seleccion Especial'”.
James Snoxell, Head of Buying at Armit Wines, comments: "As one of Spain’s greatest and most age-worthy wines we are always excited to taste the new release of 890 Gran Reserva from La Rioja Alta S.A. and it is clear that the 2005 is set to be a vintage that goes down in history. Already expected to rival 1964, which is widely recognized as the best ever Rioja vintage, the winery waited 13 years for the wine to be ready to drink before unveiling this milestone release and we are proud to launch the already critically acclaimed 890 to our customers."
James Suckling has been effusive in his praise – awarding it 98 points calling it “One of the greatest ever? The new 1964?”. 1964 is widely recognised to be the greatest vintage ever in Rioja so this is high praise indeed.
“The aromas to this are stunning with dried strawberry, stone and fresh mushroom. Full body and very tight with incredible depth and structure. It goes on for minutes. One of the greatest ever? The new 1964? Available January 2018.”
98 points, James Suckling
"Made with grapes from some of the winery’s oldest parcels in Brinas, Labastida and Villalba, this really is one of the best 890s ever. Blending Tempranillo with 3% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo, it combines the grace and elegance of a great Musigny with the sweetness, focus and balance of a classic Rioja, Scented, complex and very long. 2017-30."
98 Points, Tim Atkin
"La Rioja Alta S.A. has once again placed its 890 Gran Reserva at the top for the second consecutive year with another great vintage, 2005. Fineness, complex tertiary nuances, acidity and elegance are part of its credentials, a stately, serious wine that is already part of the living history of Rioja wine…"
98 Points, La Guia Peñín