I was lucky enough to be in Rioja recently and was reminded just why the red wines from Spain’s famous red wine region are so popular here.
Almost 35% of Rioja’s exports come to the UK and it accounts for more than a third of all Spanish wine sales here.
I think the most interesting wines come from the wineries that are making traditional Rioja, but with a slightly more modern take.
Bodegas Bilbainas is doing just that and it’s clear this estate is at the top of its game. All the grapes for Vina Pomal Reserva 2008, Rioja (Majestic £12.49 buy two for £9.99 each) come from the estate’s own vineyards.
This has polished dark fruits including blueberries, all framed with vanilla oak. This is followed by a velvety finish, which would be wonderful with grilled lamb chops.
TOP TIPPLE: Vina Pomal Crianza 2010, Rioja
The nose shows dark fruits, including cherries, vanilla oak, some spice and liquorice. This is very elegant with fresh fruit and balanced acidity in the mouth with good length. It’s also great value and a perfect example of just what Rioja can deliver. Try with the Sunday roast.
Hermitage Cellars, £7.99, on offer from £8.90, Majestic, £9.99, buy two for £7.99.