Evans’ pick: renegade Rioja wines
López de Heredia, Matador Parreno, Rioja 2001 99 N/A UK www.lopezdeheredia.com Glorious, and impossible to fault. The aromas are all mature Rioja, while the palate reveals an elegant, memorable tapestry of fruit. Vivid and fresh, polished and utterly refined. Presents a different and alluring facet of López de Heredia.
Drink 2018-2045 Alcohol N/A Bodegas Bhilar, Phinca La Revilla Sexto Año, Rioja 2011 94 POA Bibendum Wine Fascinating: a contemporary homage to a Rioja classic. Single vineyard, biodynamic viticulture; foot-trodden and aged for six years in oak barricas. No hint of fruit. Complex with dried herbs and flowers, citrus, very fine texture.
Drink 2018-2024 Alc 14% Artadi, Viñas de Gain, Alava 2015 93 £ 21.95-£ 24.75 Gauntleys of Nottingham, Jeroboams Just Tempranillo, organic viticulture, a blend of village plots. This has all the polish and expertise that goes into Artadi’s single vineyards, and it’s more accessibly priced. It’s dense, with dark stone fruit and firm, fine tannin.
Drink 2018-2022 Alc 14.5% Abel Mendoza, Guardaviñas, Rioja 2015 92 £ 36 Alliance Wine, Highbury Vintners No added sulphur; only lightly oaked ( just 40% of the wine); biodynamic viticulture. Limpid, vivid expression of Tempranillo from San Vicente de la Sonsierra, a wine that is all about the expression of the place. Drink 2018-2022 Alc 13.5% Compañía de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez, LZ Viñedos de Lanciego, Rioja 2016 92 £ 15 Grape & Grain, Highbury Vintners, Nursery Stores of Rock, The Grocery E2, The Somerset Wine Co Rodríguez (see left) also produces wines like this accessible blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano from Lanciego: joyous, unoaked youth. Drink 2018-2021 Alc 13.5% ➢