Rioja Alta Viña Arana Gran Reserva 2014
La Rioja Alta Viña Arana Gran Reserva is a great value crowd-pleaser that makes the perfect after-dinner treat!
Deep garnet red colour with a pink rim. An array of raspy red berries, cherries and plums open the intense and complex bouquet, following with nuances of coconut, vanilla, leather, tobacco, coffee and earthy porcini mushroom. The fresh palate possesses a vibrant energy and elegance thanks to well-integrated sweet tannins and a lively acidity. Flavours on the palate linger between a union of fruity and earthy – raspberries, wild strawberries, red currants, cherries and plums mingling amongst forest floor, mushroom, cedar and a balsamic touch. Simply delicious long finish.
The Arana name became a trademark in 1974, named after one of the families at the helm of La Rioja Alta. It is only made in high quality vintages and completes a sibling trio of Gran Reservas from Rioja Alta, the others being the iconic 904 and 890 Gran Reservas. The blend of Arana has evolved from its original “recipe”, with Graciano replacing Mazuelo.
Arana was the only Gran Reserva in 2014, so all of the fruit normally used to make 904 and 890 was used in the Arana Gran Reserva.
94% Tempranillo and 6% Graciano. Tempranillo came from Las Cuevas, El Palo and Las Monjas vineyards in Rodezno, whilst the Graciano came from the Montecillo estate in Fuenmayor.
The Tempranillo harvest was first, with the Graciano in Montecillo following 20 days later. The grapes were placed in small boxes and taken to the winery in refrigerated transport to preserve their integrity. Vinification occurs separately. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks, lasting 19 days. After malolactic fermentation, in April 2015, a selected number of wines were transferred to American oak barrels (made in-house) with an average age of 4.5 years. Ageing in barrels for 3 years, with a traditional racking every 6 months. Final blend in April 2018, then bottling in June 2018.
Ageing potential: Delicious to drink now, but it will age beautifully until 2035.
Check out our wide selection of Spanish wines here!
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Lots of mushroom & walnut aromas with plum & leather, too. It’s full-bodied, but very soft & creamy-textured with lots of old wood, mushroom & ripe fruit on the finish. Some chocolate & hazelnut. Complex & gorgeous. Drink or hold.
Arana commemorates one of La Rioja Alta’s historic families. The Tempranillo (95%) & Graciano (5%) are aged separately in American oak barrels for three years before blending, then for three years in bottle (two years less than the 904, and six years less than the 890). The winery’s keynote to this Rioja is ‘freshness’. I agree.
The aim with the 2014 Viña Arana Gran Reserva is to find a new Gran Reserva style that combines freshness and joy with intensity, sophistication and aging potential through a blend of Tempranillo with 6% Graciano that matured in American oak barrels for three years with rackings every six months. 2014 was a weaker year in the region, and the wine shows it and feels less vivacious than the 2015 Viña Alberdi. It has medium ripeness and abundant spicy and smoky notes and a medium-bodied palate with a soft texture that points at a wine for shorter-term consumption than the rest of the portfolio or other vintages from this cuvée.
This was aged in American oak for three years and bottled in June 2018. Exhibiting just a modicum of browning on the rim, it offers crushed strawberry, field mushroom, clove and singed leather on the nose, hints of vine tomato and balsamic following with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, lithe tannins that lend this Gran Reserva its smooth veneer. Moderate in depth, it is classic in style and no bodybuilder. It remains rather understated toward the finish, offering soy-infused red fruit, sour cherries, orange peel, porcini and dried herbs
– 95 POINTS
– 94 POINTS
La Rioja Alta is one of the most traditional wineries in Haro’s Barrio de la Estación, famous for producing wines that are good to drink on release, but also age beautifully in bottle. This new Gran Reserva, made from Tempranillo with 6% Graciano for added backbone, is very much a reflection of the cooler, more “Atlantic” 2014 vintage. La Rioja Alta didn’t make its top two Gran Reservas – 904 and 890 – in 2014, so all of its best grapes were used for Viña Arana. Fine and elegant, with vibrant acidity, notes of coconut and cinnamon from the American oak and a core of savoury, refreshing tobacco leaf and red berry flavours framed by fine, caressing tannins. Old-fashioned Rioja at its glorious best.