Here's a big secret about La Rioja Alta: 904 has a baby brother! You don't have to wait a decade for its best wines. Every Rioja lover knows La Rioja Alta for being uncompromising traditionalists, their 904 Gran Reserva resting in the cellars for 10 to 12 years before release. Now let me introduce you to Viña Arana, 904's "clever little brother," boisterously powerful fruit without the barrel aging, at almost half the price. It's a bold young whippersnapper by the standards of La Rioja Alta who barrel ages their 904, resting it in bottle for ages. Arana is a thrill to taste, popping with dark cherries, not the least bit heavy. I taste only the powerful fruit, the wood masterfully concealed. I know that the old Rioja traditions and limestone vineyards have trained the Tempranillo, but they haven't tamed it. This is an exciting Reserva, silky, smooth, and cool. If you know La Rioja Alta and the 904, you'll love the 2009 Arana. Our buddy Suckling gave it a whopping 96 points, calling it "powerful," "rich," and "fantastic." A thrill a minute, you're gonna want a LOT of it.
This is a powerful and rich red with black truffle and blueberry character. Sweet tobacco, too. Full body, tannic and flavorful. Yet open and polished. Fantastic finish. Great ageing potential. Drink or hold.
96 points, James Suckling (Jul 2017)
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