One of the finest wines from The Haro estate, the award winning Viña Ardanza amazes with black pepper, truffles, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and red berries on the nose with red berries, raspberries, vanilla, cloves and pepper on the palate. Pairs well with all red meats and medium to mature cheeses.
La Rioja Alta S.A. takes oak very seriously. At the beginning, the company acquired French oak, as thousands of barrels were sitting empty in Bordeaux, with no wine being produced to fill them. Nowadays, the La Rioja Alta S.A. winery imports American oak and dries it for two years before its craftsmen construct barrels by hand at the cooperage in Haro. Every six months, the wine is racked - again by hand, and under candlelight, in order to disturb the wine as little as possible.
Not that upholding standards and tradition means that La Rioja Alta S.A.’s philosophy is one of conservatism. From the start, the company was prepared to break conventions. Its first president was a woman - Doña Saturnina García Cid y Gárate - and its first cellar master a Frenchman, Albert Vigier. These days, in addition to Haro, there is also a state-of-the-art winery at Labastida, with a serious research and development division - as you might expect when the chief winemaker, Julio Sáenz, originally qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist. The new winery doesn’t have the history of the original bodega in the traditional heart of Rioja, but it is a beautiful stone building, with the fermentation tanks covered by a wooden floor, their steel lids poking out for inspection. Over 125-plus years, La Rioja Alta S.A. has evolved without losing its identity.