Evans’ pick: rene­gade Rioja wines

Decanter - - RIOJA -

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% ➢

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