Rioja rosé simply blows me away: WINE
I wrote in these pages a few weeks ago that I had sampled the finest Spanish rosé, or rosado, I had ever tasted – and very possibly one of the best rosés from anywhere.
It was the wonderful Ramón Bilbao Lalomba Rosado 2018, Rioja (greatwesternwine.co.uk £23.50).
You wait ages to taste a Spanish rosé that really turns your head and then, just like buses, this week I tasted another rosé from Rioja which is doing its best impression to look like a top quality Provence rosé.
You will need to work a little to track down a bottle of Marqués de Murrieta Primer Rosé 2017, Rioja (vinissimus.co.uk £25.80, Selfridges £34.99)
It is certainly not cheap, but if you are interested in tasting one of the world’s great rosés then it is worth the effort.
Marqués de Murrieta, established in 1852, is one of the oldest and certainly one of the most respected producers in Rioja and only started to produce this wine a few vintages ago.
Produced from 100 per cent mazuelo, known as carignan in France, from the estate’s own vineyards in the Rioja Alta, this is made in stainless steel tanks without the use of any oak which is something of a rarity in Rioja.
It is very pale in colour, the nose shows ripe peaches, red summer berry fruits and some savoury notes before a fresh, almost creamy palate with bright acidity and a quite complex finish.
This is really delicious rosé which you could serve with some smoked fish, a seafood paella or, if you really want to push the boat out, how about with roast quail?
Sticking with the Rioja theme but two slightly more accessible wines next.
López de Haro Blanco2018, Rioja (Portal, Dingwall and Norris, Emsworth £9.42,bushvines.co.uk £8.75) is made from 100 per cent viura, aged for a couple of months in older oak barrels and is a very much a modern style white Rioja but with more than a nod to the past.
The bouquet is very fresh with notes of melon, pear, green herbs and a little vanilla oak.
That is followed by a crisp palate with pear and citrus fruit and a nice, fresh finish.
This is a lovely alternative summer white which you could serve with some simple seafood tapas, a salad Nicoise or a classic Spanish tortilla.
Torres Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2015, Rioja (Ocado £11.49, Waitrose £11.99) is made by Torres, one of the most famous wine families in Spain.
With their roots initially in Catalonia, they are now making wine in many regions of Spain, including Rioja.
This is made from 100 per cent tempranillo and aged for 12 months in a mixture of American and French oak.
It is pretty classic Rioja with dark red fruits, spice and some smoky notes on the nose followed by more red fruits and spice on the palate with some grippy tannins and a warm, reasonably concentrated finish.
This would work really well with some barbecued spicy pork or a summer roast leg of lamb.