Robert Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate
: "2001 is a great vintage for all the wines from La Rioja Alta but the long-awaited 2001 Gran Reserva 890 is otherworldly
. 2001 was a slow maturing vintage which produced smaller grapes especially in the old vineyards on the slopes of the Sierra Cantabria in the villages of Brinas, Labastida and Villalba where the vineyards that make it into this wine are located. The final blend contains a majority of Tempranillo with 3% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo. The wine ferments with the natural yeasts attached to the grapes in stainless steel vats and is aged for six years in used American oak barrels with 12 manual rackings. A selection of the best barrels were blended together and bottled unfiltered in March 2008. Only 15,000 bottles were produced. It shows (even) younger and more concentrated than the 2004 904, a darker shade of red and a somehow backward and reticent nose (relatively speaking) of forest floor, cold bonfire, antique shop, truffles, game, sandalwood, nutmeg and clove. The fruit is also a little darker and the palate more austere, but still showing vibrant and supple, with clean flavors and a great finish. This is my favorite modern time 890. Bravo!
Drink 2016-2026." Dec 2013
: "This brand is only produced in extraordinary vintages and 2001 is one of the best we can remember. A mild winter and suitable rainfall throughout the growing cycle allowed for excellent vine development. Excellent health prevailed during the ripening stage, marked by very sunny days and notable temperature drops at night— essential conditions to obtain high quality wines. To make this wine, we chose the oldest vines, planted in poor soils with a high proportion of limestone. They produced a small number of loose clusters which had smaller grains than in previous vintages and an optimal skin-to-pulp ratio. The grapes showed a superb balance of all components and excellent polyphenolic and aromatic qualities. All this prompted us to apply the 'Selección Especial' designation —a first for this brand.
Ruby-red with an intense orange rim, medium-depth, clean and bright. Very intense aromas with a classic bouquet with outstanding balsamic and spicy notes —coconut, vanilla and chocolate mints wrapped in hints of ripe fruit. Great body and structure in the mouth, with balanced tannins of exceptional elegance and finesse, leaving a very long, spicy, complex aftertaste. A unique Gran Reserva 890 which looks forward to a long life in the bottle."
||95% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano
|| 6 years in American oak barrels
||La Rioja Alta, Spain