Rioja on the rise

Baron de Ley 2010 Reserva, Rioja
Baron de Ley 2010 Reserva, Rioja
Michelle Thomson, left, and Carla Van Kooperen of 'Carla's Cake Emporium'

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Sales of Rioja in the UK grew by more than 10 per cent last year.

It’s great value for money and the popularity of tapas bars shows Spain is fashionable again. Ramon Bilbao Single Vineyard 2012, Rioja (Majestic £9.99 but £7.49 if you buy two) is a young red made in a modern style with bright strawberry fruit and an easy finish. Cune 2009, Reserva (Waitrose £12.99, Majestic £14.99 but £9.99 if you buy two) is one of Rioja’s most famous labels. Textbook Reserva with vanilla, a touch of coffee and blackberry followed by a long, velvety finish.

Top tipple this week is Baron de Ley 2010 Reserva, Rioja. From a relative new producer, this is aged in American oak for 20 months. There are dark fruits, violets, vanilla and hints of spice on the nose. Will be perfect with Easter lamb. Co-op £7.99 on offer from £10.99, Waitrose £9.99.