Armit to release 2005 vintage of La Rioja Alta SA 890

Armit Wines is set to release a 2005 vintage of La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890, which has been labeled ‘Seleccion Especial’ for the second time since its first vintage in 1890.

This is the top wine from the producer - which is only made in the best vintages and therefore accounts for around three releases per decade - and the 2005 vintage has received the prestigious label for both the “extraordinary quality” of the grapes but also for “the exceptional ageing potential” of the wine.

James Snoxell, head of buying at Armit Wines, said: “As one of Spain’s greatest and most age-worthy wines we are always excited to taste the new release of 890 from La Rioja Alta and it is clear that the 2005 is set to be a vintage that goes down in history. Already expected to rival 1964, which is widely recognized as the best ever Rioja vintage, the winery waited 13 years for the wine to be ready to drink before unveiling this milestone release and we are proud to launch the already critically acclaimed 890 to our customers.”

Julio Saenz, winemaker, said: “We are delighted with the 890 2005 and truly believe this to be one of the best wines that we have ever produced. Not only were the vintage conditions outstanding as recognised by the Consejo, but 2005 also marked the launch of major improvements in our harvesting system, which lead to a major step in the quality of all of the wines, especially the Gran Reservas. It was an honour to give this wine a Seleccion Especial label, and we are looking forward to enjoying it now and for many decades to come.”

 A blend of 95% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo, the wine was matured for six years with 10 traditional rackings. Only the very best barrels were then selected with 199 making it into the final blend. Bottled in 2012, the resulting wine has a classic and intense aroma with notes of cured leather, stewed plums and raisins, tobacco and sweet spices along with vanilla and dark chocolate, according to the producer. The palate is described as “elegant, mature and complex with outstanding structure and well-balanced acidity with silky tannins”.

La Rioja Alta SA Gran Reserva 890 2005 ‘Seleccion Especial’ will be released in the UK by Armit Wines on 23 January at a special en primeur price of £495 per case of six bottles in bond for a limited period. It will be shipped this spring.