La Rioja Alta SA: A World-Class Winery of International AcclaimLa Rioja Alta SA, Specials Specials http://www.decanter.com/specials/584225/la-rioja-alta-sa-a-world-class-winery-of-international-acclaim http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/0000060cb/eb6e_orh100000w160/Aster-image-2012.jpg http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/0000060cb/c1ce/Aster-image-2012.jpg
Over the centuries La Rioja Alta SA has adapted and evolved to ensure that they consistently produce the finest wines possible with both personality from the three most important DOs in Spain. Unlike so many other internationally acclaimed estates, their wines are ready to drink immediately upon release. In exceptional vintages, the following wines can be labelled as "Especial": Gran Reserva 890, Gran Reserva 904, Viña Ardanza, Viña Arana and Viña Alberdi.
La Rioja Alta SA owns four estates in Spain totalling 450 hectares: two are based in Rioja, one in Rias Baixas and another in Ribera del Duero. In each property, only grapes grown in their own vineyards are used. The Haro estate in Rioja Alta offers the traditional style Riojas for which the group is best known, produced from grapes sourced from the finest sites of the Rioja Alta area.The combination of the best modern technology with traditional ageing brings together the best of both worlds to create wines which are the benchmarks for traditionally produced Rioja.
The Rioja Alavesa Estate of Torre de Oña was bought in 1995 with the aim of producing wines that reflect the characteristics of this exclusive region and particular terroir. In contrast to the Haro estate’s production, each sub-plot of the 65 hectare Torre de Ona vineyards is harvested, vinified and matured separately before the various parcels are blended into either the Reserva or Crianza from this estate reflecting the concept of terroir which is unusual in Rioja. Only the best grapes are used to make the Torre de Oña Reserva and the Finca San Martín Crianza.
Heading west towards the border with Portugal, the group acquired the Galician estate of Lagar de Fornelos in 1988 to add a unique and premium Albariño to the portfolio, Lagar de Cervera. A recent vast investment programme has transformed this estate into an impressive state-of-the-art building and winery, the results of which have paid off with the exceptional 2012 release. There are currently 75 hectares under vine with a recent purchase of a further 10 hectares which will be planted shortly.
A desire to produce a modern, contemporary red from a contrasting region led La Rioja Alta SA south towards Ribera del Duero to identify prime plots for vine cultivation which began in earnest in 1989. The Estate’s production has since gone from strength to strength with 95 hectares of Tinto Fino that produces an award-winning Aster Reserva, Aster Crianza and in the best years, also the premium Aster Finca el Otero.
Offering a wide variety of unique, premium wines with an abundance of personality and charm, the Rioja Alta portfolio showcases the very best that Spain has to offer.
In this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, La Rioja Alta were delighted to win Gold with the Gran Reserva 904, 2001 and Gran Reserva 890, 1998 is the winner of the Red Rioja Gran Reserva over £15 Trophy.