(2020) This is a modern, taut and muscular style of Rioja, not the vanilla and coconunt softness of an aged traditional reserva, but instead a wine of bitter cherry and plum, a twist of liquorice and lift of kirsch on the nose, the palate firm, tannic and savoury, a rasp of plum skin roughness to add some rustic bite and the smooth black fruits always in that context. I might decant this for an hour or two, a wine with a bit of brawny, sinewy structure as well as fruit.
(2020) Very much 'modern' Rioja this, creamy, minty, chocolaty and bold, but putting the ripe black fruits centre stage. Extended ageing in oak (I'd guess mainly French) has smoothed and polished both the flavours and texture, the palate sensuous, sweet and deeply-fruited, firm, but very finely-grained tannins and generous, juicy acidity make it both structured and eminantly drinkable - now or in 10 years. £20 as part of a mixed six bottles.
(2020) Daniel describes this as coming from a "Stunning single vineyard and family run property in the heart of Rioja Alavesa." Made from 100% Tempranillo, it spends 12 months in barrels, 60% French and 40% American oak. There's a sweet, solid black cherry sheen to the aromatics, a smoothing laer of creamy dark polished wood, and a lovely hint of tobacco spice. In the mouth quite delicious: the sweet black fruit surges across the palate, but again the whole picture smoothed by the creaminess of the oak and fine-grained tannins, balanced and long. Really lovely.
(2020) A contemporary, pale-hued rosé from Rioja, this is 85% Garnacha (Grenache) with 15% of the white wine grape, Viura. There's a little bit of elderflower and passionfruit, presumably from the Viura which often exhibits those characters, onto the palate which is nicely concentrated with a bit of fruit skin grip and intensity, oranges and more of that passionfruit character, and keen citrus zest acidity, presumably early picking ensuring that raciness, with only 12.5% alcohol.
(2020) This is not the first white Rioja made from Tempranillo Blanco that I have tasted and reviewed, but examples remain as rare as hen's teeth: this is not a white wine made from the black Tempranillo grape, but from white mutation discovered only a few decades ago. Unoaked, but aged on the lees, the nose has a hint of creamy nuttiness, but a pristine set of citrus and orchard fruit aromas that are appetising and fresh. On the palate there is surprising weight and breadth of texture and flavour for a 12.5% alcohol wine, perhaps a touch of tannin from the grape adding that structural feel, and loads of shimmering juicy acidity to keep it fresh and food-friendly. Fascinating. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) This 100% Tempranillo wine was aged for 12 months in new oak, a mixture of French and American barrels. The Caesus brand celebrates a modern, concentrated and fruit-dominant style of Rioja, but also elegance. This has very refined aromatics, floral-tinged black fruits, vinous and firm, but with a spicy background of oak and great charm with its delicate violet nuances. In the mouth it is supple, intense, the core of fruit firm, sweet but savoury, a little touch grilled bacon fat adds a lovely warmth, a dusting of cocoa too, in a balanced and serious red wine with structure and keen acidity, but all the fruit and texture to match. Watch the video for more information and food matching idea. Note: if buying a mixed six bottles from Cadman, the price of this falls to £12.99.
(2020) A total of 971 barrels of this wine were made, with Tempranillo from old vines in Ramón Bilbao's highest vineyards in Rioja Alta, situated at over 700 metres above sea level. It spent 14 months in a combination of French and American oak and is a big mouthful of wine: opulent with rich, chocolaty berry fruit, tobacco and exotic and musky spices, it's that intensity of blackcurrant and mint fruit that drives through. Joining it on the palate are suede-like creamy tannins and well balanced cherry acidity, giving light and shade to the wine, so the finish is spicy and fruity, but fresh too. Modern but substantial. Note that some retailers have moved on to the highly-regarded 2016 vintage already. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) This new Gran Reserva from the historic La Rioja Alta joins their tremendously good portfolio of wines. It is utterly classic Gran Reserva in many ways, opening with those fragrant American oak barrel notes of marzipan and coconut, but a terrifically plush depth of fruit that also hints at game and truffle. A blend of 95% Tempranillo from forty-year-old vines with 5% Graciano, there is concentration and elegance on the palate. The wine remains juicy and vital to the core, shimmering with spices and depths of velvetty fruit, smooth tannins and creamy acidity. Beautifully balanced, what a treat this would be if you are looking for something special for Christmas. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) Made from old vine Grenache, this is yet another peachy-pink and very pale style, very un-typically Spanish compared to more traditional rosados, and very much about bright fruit aromas and flavours, though dry in the finish. As well as the stone fruits, thre's a touch of passion fruit and elderflower, then the palate is juicy and filled with peach and an apple juice acid freshness. Tasty and has a bit of character.
(2019) A big and bountiful Rioja this, brimming with fruit, creamy dark oak and spice, and substantial with its 14.5% abv. Made, unusually, from Graciano rather than Termpranillo, 50% was aged in new French oak, 50% in American oak, for a total of 12 months. It has a wild edge of gaminess, but really it is all about plush, luscious, damson and chocolate on the nose, the palate sweet fruited and just as dark and glossy with fruit and vanilla. There is a sheen of polish to this with its creamy tannins, and freshness too, cherry-pit dry acidity seeing to that. In all, a big, bold, unabashed crowd-pleaser, and very well done. £10.80 for members of the Daily Drinker Wine Club.