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08 November 2010

Rioja duet

Lagunilla is a well-known and widely distributed Rioja brand, but I recently retried their Crianza 2007 and Reserva 2005 reds and found them both attractive, warming (in that good with hearty food in early winter way) and good value. Based on blends of the Tempranillo (mostly) and Garnacha (=Grenache) varieties, the Crianza (red and black label) is medium-bodied and smooth-textured with that distinctive traditional Rioja character of sweet vs crunchy berry fruit, a hint of vanilla oak and a bit of that nice "cheesy" savoury maturing side. The Reserva (blue and black label) is a shade richer and smokier, and more "volatile" too (acetic acid notes, which can make a wine more complex or ruin it if not properly handled). Both are about 13% alcohol, and were €4 and €5.50 respectively bought on promotion in Spain - and in one of those discount border-town type supermarkets, so usually more expensive than that no doubt.

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