Great nose and palate. — 17 days ago
Septiembre 21, 2020 Marengo Restaurate, S.L.P.: papá, Lucca, Teo y yo — a month ago
Animally, meaty, dark, smokey and brooding - on the nose at least. Opened up after an hour’s decant and was far more rounded on the second night. Has that classic piercing Syrah quality that seems to swamp one’s airways - and plenty of barnyard funk for some time after opening.
On the palate it’s quite mellow, enveloping, beautifully rounded, medium bodied, with just enough acidity and tannin to give it life. I’d love to have tried this five years ago when I feel like it would have had the power to better impersonate a Hermitage. But, no doubt, it’s superb now.
Interestingly (to me!) I actually found this quite hard to distinguish between a decent Rioja. It is very similar in many ways to La Rioja Alta’s Viña Ardanza. Both in the fruit and the presence / quality of oak. The only difference lying perhaps in richness and depth of fruit.
Overall, a beauty of a wine - one of the appellation’s finest. — 6 months ago
Black pepper — 18 days ago
Deep rusty colored thick legged red with sun-ripened blackberry, tart cherry, cocoa powder, summer herbs, and hints of pie spices on the nose. Ripe blueberries, blackberry pie, bittersweet chocolate, and kirsch with hints of mushroom powder, cloves, and bacon fat on a lingering finish. Very nice, great value — 2 months ago
Viril and enchanting; a wine that conjures all sorts of stereotypes of Spain, the jamon, the flamenco, catholic processions, Hemingway, wineskins, and bull fights. While the Ardanza possesses more focus and freshness, this Alberdi is more evolved and flamboyant. Incense, cigar box, cola, hung game and blood, black cherry, and salubrious acidity and tannins. — 5 years ago
Striking a balance between traditional and modern Rioja, the Imperial Reserva is often the most compelling wine in the CVNE lineup; at least to my palate and this bottle is a perfect example as to why. Tasted double-blind, the bouquet is perfumed and very pretty with bright, delicious cherries, tobacco, dill and green olive. On the palate, the dark cherry fruit is generous and silky with sweet and savory spices. Wonderful texture. Sturdy structure. Deftly representing the best of both worlds, this is a serious wine that happens to be a crowd pleaser as well. I called this 2014 Rioja Reserva (Viña Ardanza if anyone cares). Wasn’t far off! — 4 days ago
'81-2005 La Rioja Alta Arana, Ardanza, 904, 890 — 5 years ago