(2023) With only 12% alcohol, I presume these grapes from sunny and hot Castilla were picked early, which would help retain acidity. What I liked most about this is that it is a Verdejo that's not trying to be a Sauvignon Blanc, as so many of them are. This sticks to a crisp and fresh fruitiness, just touched by leafy green herbs. The palate nudges towards the tropical with juicy, ripe fruit and finishes with a balance citrus clarity. Certified organic too.
(2023) From Castilla-La Mancha, this is another wine to have adopted the still novel paper bottle which I have introduced with other wines: lightweight, and 100% recyclable. The wine is Merlot, made for Laithwaites by Bodegas Fernando Castro. Deep crimson in colour, with vinous black cherry and spice aromas, a stripe of red liquorice. On the palate brimming with primary fruit, sweet, buoyant and easy drinking. It's perhaps a little too sweet and easy for it's own good, lacking a bit of structure, but a barbecue crowd-pleaser surely. £10.99 in a mixed 12.
(2023) From vineyards near Toledo, that are organically certified and sit at an elevation of 800 metres. Primary stuff, with a bright crimson colour and clear, unoaked berry aromas. Possibly a little carbonic maceration here (?) giving a sappy character too. The palate walks a nice line between sweet fruit, an earthy, dry and spicy savouriness and pert cherry acidity. A good all-rounder this, for quaffing or with lamb or a bowl of chilli.
(2023) The base of this de-alcoholised white comes from near Toledo in Castilla-La Mancha, though the product is manufactured in Germany where a blend of spices, fruits and wood extracts are used to add more character to the drink. The seller describes "the bouquet, the alcohol burn and the balanced acidity lingering after every sip," which makes little sense. Aromas are peachy, with an overlay of sweet vanilla, and there's something that reminds me of old fashioned sweeties jars. In the mouth it is fairly dry, with some of that vanillin character, light- to medium bodied. It has a pleasant, if neutral overall character.
(2022) Not a lot of aromatic fireworks as one might expect with these varieties, though Laithwaites will move on to the 2021 vintage soon. Plenty of zip and citrus tang on the palate, an easy drinking and flavourful wine. £7.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2019) Part of the Lidl 'Wine Tour' special parcels, in stores from May 23rd 2019, who can complain about an organically certified rosé, made in the Castilla–La Mancha region of Spain, but in a thoroughly modern, pale-coloured idiom, at just £4.99. Bubblegum cherries and raspberries on the nose, fruity yet dry on the palate, a nice zesty acidity keeps it fresh in the finish and imbues enough cut to make this salad and saucisson friendly, as well as in-the-garden sippable.
(2018) Sourced from the Tierra de Castilla in the south east of Spain, this blends Verdejo and Sauvignon in a clean, crisp style. On the nose a little bit of elderflower and thiol pungency, but it is not overdone. In the mouth there's a bit of dilution that means the slightly aggresive acidity is at odds with the rather sweet character, with not much to bind them. It's just a bit generic rather than being bad, but it's not a wine I could get too enthusiastic over.
(2017) From Almansa in Castilla-La Mancha, in the southeast of Spain, this has an extremely vivid, deep and vibrant colour, and aromas to match. Ripe, juicy plums, black berries and a touch of meaty spice leap from the glass, presenting a bottonless pool of dark fruit aromas. In the mouth the sweetness of ripe fruit is buoyant and full, but there's a fine background of earthy tannin, a touch of savoury, spicy oak, and good plummy acidity too. Really lovely drinking this, and possibly my favourite of the three Botas de Barro wines tasted.
(2015) A typically deeply coloured Spanish rosé, so unlike the in vogue Provence pale style, but that's a good thing with just too many lookalikes flooding the shelves. This has an inviting strawberries and cream nose, a little touch of cappuccino adding to the appeal. In the mouth is it perhaps just flirting with off-dry? But a sweep of that pulpy strawberry fruit, good acidity and a bit of Tempranillo spice gives a savoury finish.
(2012) A note to watch out for the vintage on the label if buying this wine, as I see M&S still have the 2010 for sale too. A rosé Tempranillo from Tierra de Castilla weighing in with just 12% alcohol, it has a pretty cherryish colour and abundantly fresh and fruity nose of summer berries. On the palate it is dry, with a very good core of lemony, fresh acidity that cuts through the berry and rose-hip flavours to leave this quite savoury and moreish.