Two of the old Reserves

Two of the old Reserves

Marques de Riscal, Rioja Reserva 2006, 14%, €12.80, Venta Gora (Navarra).
Ninety per cent Tempranillo in this Cherry red Rioja. Dark fruits and spice, balsamic hints on the nose. On the palate, it is full and fruity, rich and rounded, super tasty with a persistent finish. A classic Rioja and highly recommended.

Remelluri, Rioja Reserva 2006, 13.5%, €13.32, Venta Mugica (Irabar).

The nose is your normal Rioja, fruity with a bit of spice. Some spice also on the palate and rounded fruit flavours, maybe too rounded I thought at first! Seemed to lack any distinctive characters but I had started it off too cool and, on warming up, we re-introduced ourselves, the characters came through and we got on well together. Subtle rather than in your face, it is tasty and smooth with a warm and persistent finish.

The grapes used are Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano. It has spent 17 months in oak, 70% French and 30% US. Unusually for Rioja, all Remelluri wines are made from estate grown grapes and this dark red is a good one. Highly recommended.

I bought these at Ventas on the Spanish side of the French border. Ventas are rather ugly concentrations of purpose built large shops selling everything from shoes to wines to petrol at prices cheaper than just across the road in France. Rioja wines are fairly widely available in Ireland. Try places like O’Brien’s, Superquin, Bradley’s Off Licence, Mitchel & Son. On the net, check via
A hilltop Venta