From the Bottle
Dark red colour with well integrated aromas of ripe fruit. The palate is balanced and well structured. Serve between 14-16c
Price £4.99 (Available from Budgens)
Rioja seems to be one of the new darling wine of the moment. The one people ask for if they want to seem a little bit more 'knowledgeable' about wine and not just order a standard Merlot or Cab Sav. Even my dad has told me that Rioja is his current favourite, a fiftyish year old, 6ft4, Jamican born in Birmingham, not that you need to know that, but it tickles me when I think of him going into a bar and specifically ordering a bottle of Rioja. Anyways, this particular one is a blend of Grenache Noir and Tempranillo grapes, which combine to give a bouquet of lush fruits, slight spice and a hint of vanilla (from the limited time spent in oak). The taste mimics the fruity smell and there is slight acidity that balances well. Supple tannins are observed with a slight heat to the back of the throat.
Rating - Worth scraping your pennies together for
From the bottle:
'a richly flavoured, full bodied wine made from Garnacha, Tempranillo and Carinena grapes which combines vibrant cherry and raspberry flavours and a vanilla spice oak character... Grapes are carefully hand harvested and then fermented and then aged for at least 24 months in American oak barrels. Enjoy with roasted red meats, game and strong cheeses.'
Price £9.99 (Available from Tesco)
I brought this Gran Reserva because I thought the label and the name sounded like quite a posh wine to start my blog with, but it wasn't as good as it looked. On the nose you get red fruits with a background of spice and a hint of butter. Coming to the taste the fruit is somewhat lacking and so the spice seems a tad unbalanced. A little harshness at the back of the throat and noticeable tannins. Left with slight acidic after taste.
Rating - Would cry more over spilt milk