(75 customer reviews)

La Rioja Alta ‘Gran Reserva 904’ 2015

14.50% /
750ml /
Vintage: 2015
  • WS 92
  • WA 95
  • JS 97
  • TA 96
  • VIN 95
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Wine Description

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2015 is a remarkable wine crafted by the prestigious winery La Rioja Alta, under the expertise of their skilled winemaker, Julio Sáenz. Hailing from the renowned Rioja appellation in Spain, this wine embodies the essence of the region with its exceptional quality and aging potential.

The 2015 harvest experienced ideal weather conditions, resulting in grapes that exhibited excellent vegetative and sanitary conditions. The vineyards located at higher elevations, cooler areas, and moderate vigor produced fruit with perfectly balanced components. Sign variations, sunny mornings, and cold nights marked the ripening stage which contributed to a well-rounded maturation process. As a result, the wines showcase a fresh, Atlantic character, elegant acidity, intense fruit flavors, and harmonious, silky tannins, making them particularly suitable for long-term aging.

This Gran Reserva 904 is predominantly made from the noble Tempranillo grape variety, comprising 90% of the blend. The grapes are carefully selected from vineyards in Villalba, Briñas, and Rodezno, and are complemented by 10% Graciano sourced from the Montecillo vineyard in Fuenmayor. To ensure the preservation of fruit integrity, the grapes are individually handpicked into small boxes and transported in refrigerated vehicles. This vintage marks the first time the grapes underwent optical selection, with only the highest-quality berries meeting the winery’s stringent standards for this wine.

Following a 21-day alcoholic fermentation in tanks, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation. In January 2016, the finest wines are chosen for aging in American oak barrels crafted by the winery’s in-house coopers, with an average age of four and a half years. Over four years, the wine matures in these barrels, undergoing traditional rackings performed manually and by candlelight every six months. Finally, in February 2020, the final blend is bottled.

The La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2015 has a medium-high intensity color with an elegant garnet rim that is pleasing to the senses. The wine has a remarkable mix of aromas, including wild strawberry, red cherry, plum, blackberry, and cranberry. These are well-balanced with other enticing aromas like tobacco, brioche, ground coffee, caramel, cedar, and cinnamon blossom. On the palate, the alcohol and acidity are seamlessly balanced, accompanied by polished, gentle tannins that deliver a smooth and refined mouthfeel. The wine concludes with a fine, delicate, and exceptionally long aftertaste, which will further develop with bottle aging, showcasing its tremendous cellaring potential.

This wine has garnered critical acclaim, with Wine Spectator awarding it 92 points for its supple layers of dried cherry, sandalwood, vanilla, and Kalamata olive, supported by smooth tannins. Wine Advocate awarded it an impressive 95 points, praising its subtlety, elegance, finesse, delicacy, and silkiness. James Suckling, with 97 points, commended its perfumed nose, full-bodied character, velvety tannins, and long, polished finish. Tim Atkins awarded it 96 points, highlighting its sweet spices, fine tannins, layered red and black fruits, and chalky freshness. Vinous granted it 95 points, describing its vibrant red and blue fruit aromas, sappy and chewy palate, and youthfully tannic finish with floral lift.

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2015 is a wine that epitomizes the mastery of La Rioja Alta and showcases the essence of Rioja’s winemaking tradition. Its exceptional quality and cellaring potential make it a treasure for wine enthusiasts seeking a memorable and age-worthy experience.

Additional information
Weight 3.5 lbs

Reviews (75)

75 reviews for La Rioja Alta ‘Gran Reserva 904’ 2015

  1. Ron Reed

  2. Anthony King

  3. Cristine Elrod

  4. Virginia Osher

  5. Bruce Buel

    Stunning vintage of the 904, well-balanced and a pleasure from the first glass. Powerful and plush, with smooth tannins. Get it before the price goes up.

  6. Carolyn Leon

    Serve chilled.

  7. Jean Zettlemoyer

    Stunning 904 vintage, full throttle, well-balanced with ripe taste and smooth tannin. Get it before price increase.

  8. Daniel Bangert

    Serve chilled.

  9. John Clennon

    Oak dominates the nose. Light-medium body. Long finish.

  10. Sydney Maddox

    Nose: Oak dominates. Palate: Light-medium bodied. Finish: Long.

  11. Pricilla Woods

    Dark brick color, oak and tobacco nose, dried fruit, good body and structure. Oak dominant, less ripe fruit, long finish. Should age well.

  12. Robert Barnes

    Good body & structure, oak dominant, less ripe fruit than previous vintages. Should age well, too young now.

  13. Robert Serisky

    Tight nose but opens up with sour red cherries, raspberries, vanilla, dill, roses, spice notes, tobacco, oak, currants, and menthol. Silky, medium+ tannins and crisp, medium+ acidity. Needs more time but lovely sour fruits.

  14. Charles Friddle

    Tightly aromatic with sour red cherries, raspberries, vanilla, dill, roses, spice notes, tobacco, oak, currants, and menthol. Medium/full bodied feel with silky, medium+ tannins and crisp, medium+ acidity. Needs more time to come together.

  15. Darrell Steffee

    I prefer CVNE Gran Reserva for this price.

  16. Rose Box

    CVNE Gran Reserva is worth every penny compared to this.

  17. Rosalee Valdez

    Nose: Barnyard funk, ripe red fruit. Palate: Under-ripe red fruit, orange peel, nice acidity, baking spice.

  18. Nora Loureiro

    Review: Funky nose, red fruit, medium tannins. Under ripe fruit, orange peel, acidity, baking spice on the palate.

  19. Frances Miller

    Delicious, but too young. Oak dominates, hindering the primary fruit. Solid structure for a couple of decades. Revisit in 2-3 years for progress.

  20. Kaitlin Duncan

    Dominant oak hides the primary fruit, but with a solid structure and potential for a couple of decades. Revisit in 2-3 years.

  21. Charles Morgan

    Fruity with a mineral touch and strong finish. Needs aging.

  22. Laura Fitts

    Young and primary with ripe red and dark fruit, oak and minerals, and a firm finish. Will improve in a few years.

  23. Juan Cilek

    Decant for 2 hours to balance out overpowering oak. Notes of red fruits, leather, meat, soy sauce, and espresso bean harmonize well.

  24. Racheal Richardson

    Oak overpowers at first, but with 2 hours in the decanter, red fruits, leather, meat, soy sauce, and espresso bean notes become more harmonious.

  25. Vicki Miles

    Decant before drinking, serve at 18°C.

  26. Mary Gibbs

    90 rating for oak lovers, with notes of oak, vanilla, charred oak, dill and prunes. Long, oaky finish. Not recommended for those who don’t enjoy oak.

  27. Alma Rubenstein

    Mature red with notes of leather and tannins. Intense on the palate with a warm, long finish. Pleasant and easy to drink.

  28. Shirley Alexander

    Cherry, wood and secondary notes blend for ample fruit and complexity. Need another bottle.

  29. William Ross

    Excellent value Tempranillo, with a cherry-forward taste and less fruitiness than typical Riojas. Easy to finish the bottle.

  30. Michael Mcgary

    Third bottle was the best, needed a long decant. Nose consistent – dried cherry, leather, tobacco, dusty. Taste improved significantly with longer decant. Well-rounded.

  31. Salvatore Stancill

    Favorite rioja with bright fruits, graphite, oak, and vanilla notes. Grippy tannins, high acidity, lots of strawberries, cherries, and herbs. Still young, tertiary flavors not prominent yet.

  32. Annette Carson

    Balanced and grippy with notes of cherries, red fruits, coconut, leather, and plums on the palate. Tannins still present with good potential for aging.

  33. Hilary Torris

    Cherry, raspberry, currant and vanilla. Smooth tannins and balanced acidity. Medium-bodied with a long finish.

  34. Arthur Johnson

    Coconut aroma, fruity with slight plum notes. Oak not integrated, unbalanced with air and high alcohol. Needs aging.

  35. Laura Abrams

    Classic Rioja with notes of vanilla and fresh cherries, balanced and rounded with a medium finish and complexity. However, the price has been increasing every year, making it a poor value wine.

  36. Shawn Lopez

    Medium garnet color. Tart cherry, herbal aroma and diacetyl on the aroma. Flavor notes of tart cherry, cedar box, vanilla and diacetyl. Medium acidity with medium-high tannins. Medium high body. This wine is ready to drink now. I would not wait too much longer to drink it if you have it in your cellar. I do not see it getting better.

  37. Martha Stewart

    Drank alongside some other (older) gran reservas and I thought this showed excellent. Although the American oak did shine through (dill/coconut) it was not overbearing and I thought it added a little complexity to the bottling. Dark/red fruits, good acid and moderate tannins made this one of my top reds of the night and I do suspect it has a long life ahead even though it’s drinking just fine right now.

  38. Jose Torain

    Rioja is not my cup of tea but to me the Alta 904 is the best Rioja I have tasted despite my friends always serving me new ones to convince me otherwise. Since I hate anything oxidative, my opinion is not going to change soon I guess, but of course I am open. Why I am such a fan of this wine? From the various vintages I have tasted, this wine is very Burgundian and complex. Not too oaky/vulgar, not too fruity, not too oxidative as Rioja at times can be. TN: Clearly, young nose with overt red fruit and detectable American oak. But then wine enters the palate somewhere half way of a Medoc and Burgundy. It confused my French friends as I served it blind. The palate is ripe with lots of licorice, cassis, yet elegant with racy of acidity and minerality. The best samples of this wine I had were between 20-30 years old. So while this 2011 is drinking great now, stash away some for 2030.

  39. Donald Spomer

    Plums, cigar box, roses. Solid Rioja, early in its window.

  40. Anna Smith

    Dominant American oak with creamy vanillin. Fun and interesting but not for steady consumption.

  41. Amy Villanueva

    Pours a medium to dark Brick Red. Had with a roasted leg of lamb. , On the nose: cigar, dust, herbs, a bit of vanilla and dark fruit., On the palate: the fruit shines on the front palate and makes way very quickly for hints of dill, vanilla, and sweet spices. It’s a medium bodied wine with quite a long balsamic finish. Excellent Rioja

  42. Nancy Dewey

    Bra men inte utmärkt. Avnjöts med renfilé med rödvinssås och chèvrekräm vilket var en mycket bra kombination.

  43. John Dionne

    Balanced acidity and tannins with savory meat notes intertwined with cherry and vanilla. Seems a little closed still however and perhaps could use a little more bottle aging.

  44. James Blevins

    Ripe red fruit, bright and minerally with a silky feel. Oak and tannins are subdued. Entering the early maturity window, with plenty of time ahead of it.

  45. Jocelyn Norris

    A night and a day in Rioja; 5/27/2022-5/28/2022 (Sunny Rioja), : At the AR tasting room in Haro. Again, don’t know decant dynamics. On the nose and palate, very crunchy and fairly tart red fruit cocktail led by currants, cherries, raspberries and maybe a bit of rhubarb, taut rocky minerality, rose petals, dill, balsamic and a bit of oak. Medium to dark ruby, medium bodied, medium+ legs. Electric acidity which subsided only slightly over 35-40 minutes of consumption and vigorous swirling, powerful but secondary tannins, no heat. Good complexity, tremendous intensity, VG++ persistence. Although this was the oldest wine by 4 years of the 5 high quality Riojas I had, for my palate, this, like the Muga Prado, tasted like it still needs to be placed in the room with the Ark of the Covenant for quite a while (people saying it’s at, let alone past, peak, like those finding gobs of dark fruit, well, they either had some very different bottles than I did, or the Palo Alto magic show changed my palate more than I thought). Probably quite good with a thorough decant with a ribeye or rack of lamb, this wasn’t quite enamel pealing on its own but was kinda close. Although my experiences with this vintage everywhere have been all over the place (not uniformly bad, cs), I think that this will end up in a really good place. But for right now, this wine should be reserved for rich food, subject to long and intense aeration, or confined to Burgundian palates. 91-92+, with potential to add a couple of points or so.

  46. Thomas Thacker

  47. Douglas Hylan

    PNP at petite Comte Barcelona , A nice balanced Tempranillo yet still primary even with Gran Reserva aging. Medium bodied almost Burgundian , Of course the 890 is the better wine but this is still nice for a moderately priced wine.

  48. Ruth Aron

    Favorite Rioja. Ripe fruit, earthy, leather, dill, and floral hints. Tasty and long with long evolution.

  49. Mara Nunnally

    after three hours of decanting this was beautiful, elegant with red ‘old lady’ fruit, hints of spice and almost like an old Domaine de Montille Volnay Taillepieds from a light / bright vintage… awesome and great QPR… immediately bought a case more

  50. Randy Pocai

    Not an expert, but great Rioja that never fails.

  51. Stacie Bennerson

    90% Tempranillio and Graciano, 14.5% abv. Cherry, vanilla and herb. 2005 showed much better power of fruits.

  52. Maria Hagood

    Garnet color with tobacco, cherry, and spice hints. Lingering tannins with watering acidity and perfect for steak. Yummy and shareable.

  53. Nicole Farrey

    Oak overpowers.

  54. Jennifer Chung

    Review: PNP. Deep ruby core, garnet rim. Cherry, beef drippings, plum on nose. Smooth, dry palate, with tongue coating acidity. Firm tannins on long finish. Improved over an hour. Rich, good structure. Advisable to decant 1-2 hours. Enjoyed at London business dinner.

  55. Edward Woodard

    Clear reddish-brown with notes of tea, rosehip, toasted oak, and a hint of iodine on the nose.

  56. Alexander Vazquez

    Elegant wine with red berries, sweet spices, and green herbs in the bouquet. Has juicy acidity with a slight sweetness and sticky tannin on the palate. Not impressive at the moment.

  57. Angella Rattan

    Wun Nam’s Pm Wong’s bottle is a gem with barnyard, cherry, and vanilla notes, polished tannins, and a well-textured finish. Better provenance sourced direct from UK.

  58. Heather Sizemore

    Vanilla, coconut, and sweet spices with a balanced acidity. Soft tannins. Decant for 1.5 hours. Enjoy now or until 2030.

  59. Joan Davis

    Classic Rioja wine, still young with notes of lactose, toasted coconut, vanilla, and good fruit. Friendly on the palate with good acidity and a sweet and firm finish. Will improve with a few more years. Wait for it. (50 words)

  60. Lorraine Linderman

    Great Rioja with game, tar, and smokey minerality on the nose. Cherry and firm, integrated tannins on the palate. Long finish, will age beautifully for 10+ years.

  61. Bonita Bertran

    Promising, but lacks the expected 904 GR characteristics.

  62. Robert Gover

    Excellent Rioja with strong oak and vanilla notes on the nose, balanced with a tobacco finish. Perfect to age a few more years.

  63. Lisa Raef

    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011 – Medium-bodied, smooth tannins with cherry, oak, vanilla, leather, and red fruit aroma. Needs time.

  64. Cynthia Martinez

    Outstanding wine with red and some dark fruit notes, good acidity, and well-integrated tannins. Alcohol (14.5% ABV) shows, but not out of balance.

  65. Sandra Hatfield

    2011 904 Rioja is perfect for a meal of beef fillet, potatoes, broccoli, and pepper sauce. It has all the qualities of a good Rioja with great balance. It can also be enjoyed on its own.

  66. Joseph Macmillan

    Addictive nose, smooth finish. 94+.

  67. Sergio Wages

    Spanish Tasting from Twin Cities Wine Club (Edina, MN) needs 5 more years. Wood, leather, dark currants and dill with a medium finish.

  68. Michael Bailey

    Deep ruby color, ripe red fruit, vanilla, and spices aromas. Flavors of cherries, plums, and blackberries, with a hint of tobacco, leather, and balsamic. Firm yet silky tannins, well-balanced acidity, smoky and toasty notes. Drink now or age 10-15 years.

  69. Marvin Brinson

    Expectations fell short, may need to cellar remaining bottle for longer.

  70. Jay Camarillo

    Brilliant nose of ripe red fruit with dill note. Crimson pour, cherries, raspberry, dill, vanilla, and balsamic aroma. Cherry, raspberry, damson plum with leathery tannin, hint of minerality and forest floor. Aftertaste echoes orange peel, dill, oyster mushroom, and balsam. Opened substantially after 90 minutes.

  71. Julian Dollar

    Fresh, fruity and drinkable. Old-school Rioja without the musty cellar smell of the past. 👍 Great wine!

  72. Lois Sanchez

    Impressively aromatic with dried fruit, berries, leather, dark soy sauce, and a hint of earth. Decant for 1.5 hours to dissipate oak notes. Rustic with textural elegance, pairs well with Spanish food.

  73. Deedra Huff

    “Found in the Ricasoli box.”

  74. Donald Regan

    Sweet vanillin dominates, but a distinct and lovely wine. Good acidity keeps it from being flabby. Enjoyed over three nights.

  75. Brenda Motil

    Delightful wine with deep fruit notes against a vanillin framework. Improved with longer decanting time. Hold for 2-3 years or give it a long one. 92-93.

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Critical Acclaim

WS 92
Wine Spectator
This elegant, sanguine red offers supple layers of dried cherry, sandalwood, vanilla and Kalamata olive, supported by smooth tannins. Hints of leather, tobacco, mineral and anise echo on the finish. A balanced, traditional style red. Drink now through 2031. 12,500 cases made, 3,200 cases imported.
WA 95
Wine Advocate
They used the words subtlety, elegance, finesse, delicacy and silk to define the 2015 Gran Reserva 904 Selección Especial, a blend of 90% Tempranillo from their vineyards in Villalba, Briñas and Rodezno with 10% Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard in Fuenmayor that was picked 23 days later than the Tempranillo. The grapes were sorted optically for the first time, and they fermented in stainless steel where the wine went through malolactic too. The wine was put in barrel in January 2016—used American oak barrels built by their own coopers—where it matured for four years, during which time it was racked every six months. 2015 was a healthy vintage with balanced ripeness that delivered wines with good aging potential. They thought the wine needed a little more time in bottle to polish those tannins and have decided to hold it and release the wine around March 2023; it will be marked Selección Especial, the first 904 to do so, as they have very high hopes for this year and believe it's one of the finest vintages. They think it will develop the sophistication in the palate with a little more time and that is should achieve the silkiness that is the signature of 904. This is very 2015; I saw quite strong tannins in all the 2015 wines I tasted from Rioja Alta.
JS 97
James Suckling
A perfumed nose of plums, mulberries, mushrooms, caramel, sweet tobacco and sweet spices. Full-bodied with velvety, fine tannins and lively acidity. Balanced and supple with a creamy texture. Delicate and precise with a long, polished finish.
TA 96
Tim Atkins
One of a pair of current releases of 904, both of them from warmer vintages, this delightful 2015 is a felicitous cuvée of Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. All sourced from higher altitude vineyards, this will reward further time in bottle, showing classic sweet spices, fine tannins, layers of red and black fruits and chalky freshness.
VIN 95
Vivid ruby. Expansive red and blue fruit preserve, tobacco, potpourri, spice and botanical herb aromas, with vanilla and smoky mineral notes emerging as the wine opens up. Sappy, penetrating and gently chewy on the palate, offering vibrant, mineral- and spice-accented black raspberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Shows sharp focus and floral lift on the impressively long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves behind notes of candied blue fruits and spicecake.

What does La Rioja Alta 'Gran Reserva 904' 2015 taste like?


leather, earthy, mushroom

cherry, raspberry, red fruit

oak, tobacco, vanilla

apple, green apple, peach

blackberry, plum, dark fruit

pepper, licorice, cinnamon

citrus, lemon, grapefruit

cheese, cream, toasted bread

tomato, grass, rhubarb

raisin, fig, prune

tropical, mango, starfruit

violet, lavender, potpourri

Food Pairing with La Rioja Alta 'Gran Reserva 904' 2015

Our wine experts think this Red Wine La Rioja Alta 'Gran Reserva 904' 2015 wine would be a match made in heaven with these dishes. Bon appétit!
La Rioja Alta S.A. winery entrance
Tasting Room at La Rioja Alta Winery
Wine Cellar at La Rioja Alta Winery
La Rioja Alta winery, established in 1890 by a collaboration of five families from Rioja and Basque regions, is renowned as one of the leading estates in the Rioja area. Its specialty lies in crafting classically-styled, flavorful Gran Reserva red wines that possess the ability to gracefully mature over several decades. The winery got its name from the Rioja Alta subregion, where it primarily conducts its operations. La Rioja Alta has around 1000 acres of vineyards in Rioja. They mostly grow Tempranillo grapes, but they also cultivate several other varieties such as Graciano, Garnacha, and Mazuelo. The original winery of La Rioja Alta is situated in Haro, featuring a cooperage where American oak barrels are meticulously crafted. Additionally, a second facility was established in... Read More
Rioja Red Blend, a distinguished and emblematic wine style hailing from the illustrious Rioja DOCa region in Spain, captivates the palate with its harmonious fusion of grape varieties. The blend is an artful assemblage of grapes permitted under the regulations of the Rioja DOCa, resulting in wines of remarkable character and complexity. At the heart of these blends is the Tempranillo grape, providing the foundation for the majority of Rioja Red Blends. This versatile grape thrives in the sub-regions of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, where the climate and soil contribute to its growth. The warm days and cool nights in these areas, coupled with the clay-limestone soils, provide an ideal environment for Tempranillo to flourish. This grape imparts a diverse range of flavors, from vibrant... Read More

Winemaker of La Rioja Alta 'Gran Reserva 904' 2015

Julio Sáenz

Julio Saenz, an accomplished winemaker, has become a prominent figure at the renowned La Rioja Alta winery in Spain. With his exceptional talent and expertise, Saenz has played a pivotal role in the winery's success. Known for his unwavering dedication to crafting exceptional wines, he combines traditional winemaking techniques with modern innovation to produce remarkable vintages. Saenz's meticulous attention to detail and deep understanding of the region's terroir result in wines that beautifully express the unique characteristics of La Rioja. His skillful blending of traditional grape varieties showcases his ability to create harmonious and age-worthy wines that have garnered widespread acclaim. Under Saenz's guidance, La Rioja Alta continues to flourish as a leading winery in... Read More
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