Only made in exceptional years. Open, medium-intensity cherry-red with an orange rim. The nose is very intense with a classic Rioja bouquet -- spicy, balsamic, cured leather, cocoa, tobacco and vanilla notes set against a background of candied fruit. Elegant in the mouth, with good structure and balance, silky, creamy tannins and a lively acidity on the finish. Big, complex aftertaste which will grow as the wine ages in the bottle .
This great classic Rioja is suitable with main courses without heavy sauces, meat stews and desserts with chocolate. It is also perfect as a closer for a good meal.
"Medium-depth cherry-red with a pale pink rim. Very intense, clean aromas, with dominating balsamic and spicy notes —vanilla, caramel, chocolate mint and spices against a fruity background of prunes and dried apricots. Well-balanced in the mouth, with an elegant acidity, good structure, round, polished tannins and an oily finish. The aftertaste is ample and very long, with notes of sweet fruit and marked licorice. A wine that represents the elegance and classicism of Rioja Gran Reservas." Number 4, Wine Spectator's Top 100 List 2018
"The aromas to this are stunning with dried strawberry, stone and fresh mushroom. Full body and very tight with incredible depth and structure. It goes on for minutes. One of the greatest ever? The new 1964?" (2005 vintage) 98 points, James Suckling
"Made with grapes from some of the winery’s oldest parcels in Briñas, Labastida and Villalba, this really is one of the best ever 890s, produced in an exceptional vintage for Rioja as well as La Rioja Alta. Blending Tempranillo with 3% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo, it combines the grace and elegance of a great Musigny with the sweetness, focus and balance of a classic Rioja grown on limestone soils. Scented, complex and very long, it’s unashamedly traditional and all the better for that. Drinkable now but will reward further patience. 2018-30." (2005 vintage) 98 points, Tim Atkin
"Cedar and sandalwood aromas give way to flavors of tea, tobacco, dried cherry, forest floor and orange peel in this expressive red. Round on the palate, supported by muscular tannins and juicy acidity. Big but graceful, mature yet lively, in the traditional style. Drink now through 2030." (2005 vintage) 95 points, Wine Spectator
"The top of the range is only produced three or four times per decade, and the current vintage is the 2005 Gran Reserva 890, which refers to the year, 1890, when the winery was created. It all starts by selecting grapes from their oldest vineyards (over 40 years old), harvested into 350-kilogram cases that are transported in refrigerated trucks to the winery, an improvement implemented in 2005. 2005 was an excellent vintage, and this 890 might challenge the exceptional 904 released some four years ago. Here the Tempranillo is complemented by 3% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo, fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in 199 oak barrels for six years with ten rackings. It's a very balanced and polished classical Rioja with moderate alcohol (13.5%) and good acidity (6.1 grams of tartaric); it also has a silky texture, resolved tannins and a very pleasant mouthfeel. It has complexity but is a little closed, and it feels a little evolved, at times even a little tired. The fruit feels quite ripe, with some liquor notes. The palate is polished, with fully resolved tannins and fine acidity. It was bottled unfiltered in March 2012. 57,036 bottles and 1,312 magnums were produced. 2001, 2004 and 2005 are the only 890s in the decade. The next one will be the 2010." (2005 vintage) 95 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890