#4 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza 2012
Who wouldn’t be excited to enjoy a wine from La Rioja Alta S.A., one of the most venerable producers in Spain who produces traditional, age-worthy Rioja? Their wines are legendary and still made the way they were when the winery was founded over 130 years ago. Following a tradition that has been passed down through generations, their wines are released well after the harvest year, which provides added complexity and elegance to each bottling. Their Viña Ardanza 2012 is a classic red Rioja (80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha) that is distinguished, individual, long-lived and above all, delicious. In a ten-year-old wine, you get something different each bottle you open but you can note vanilla, tobacco, sandalwood, cherry, leather and more in this beautifully crafted wine. Ready to drink now but no need to be in a hurry. I had a bottle while on vacation this past Summer and it really sang. I “went long” on the 2012 vintage so there are a few bottles remaining while the 2016 is in transit (hopefully by Valentine’s Day).