What Are You Tasting: 2001 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva



Dating back to 1890 La Rioja Alta is one of Rioja’s oldest wineries. Its name stems from the region itself. La Rioja Alta is an extremely traditional producer having its own cooperage of American oak.


La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Spain. Rioja is split into 3 sub regions: Rioja Alta, having the highest elevation and a climate dominated by the Atlantic, this is where you find the highest quality. Alavesa has a similar climate to Alta but produces fuller bodied wines. Lastly is Rioja Baja. Baja is influenced by a Mediterranean climate and is the warmest region. Rioja is classified into 4 minimum aging categories: “Rioja” which is only aged 1-2 years often with no oak, Crianza ages two years one of which is in oak, Reserva aged 3 years, one of which is in oak and lastly Gran Reserva, which is aged 2 years in oak and 3 in bottle. This particular Gran Reserva was aged for 5 years in oak and then bottle aged before release. Rioja Alta’s primary grape is Tempranillo and is blended primarily with Grenache. It can also be blended with Mazuelo (AKA Carignan) and the indigenous grape Graciano.


This wine shows notes of mushrooms, dried strawberries, fig, dill and herb deProvence. This wine is extremely delicate and silky. We would pair it with duck confit or rabbit and thyme tagliatelle. 


La Rioja Alta had the patience for you. Unlike many of the other great regions of the world (Barolo, Burgundy etc.), you get immediate satisfaction with old school producers from Rioja like this.


What Are You Tasting is a series where we share wines - and other beverages - that we're especially excited about.  Got a wine you're excited about?  Share it with us by posting on Twitter or Instagram and tagging it #whatareyoutasting