Excellent Rioja Crianza

La Pinaleta Crianza, Rioja 2009 Limited Edition 23,500 bottles, 13.5%

The blend: Tempranillo 80%, Garnacha and Mazuela 20%.

The colour and nose (pretty intense) are typical of the modern Rioja style and the blend (above) gives a light, elegant and fruity wine. The attractive palate and persistent finish means it has that all important second glass appeal.

A few months before Christmas, Wine Alliance introduced some excellent new Spanish reds including: Las Pizarras Si O Sy Syrah and Yaso Tinto de Toro. This classy Crianza is from the same Osborne stalls. Perhaps, if we ask Wine Alliance nicely, the importers will add this one to the portfolio.

Very Highly Recommended. VHR

* Called to the fantastic Baigorri vineyard during a drive in La Rioja last summer and wasn't at all empty handed when I left, having been served by a lady who learned her English while staying on the Clash Road in Little Island. Am now engaged in sampling some of the fruits of that trip and will let you know in due course. Watch this space!