Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002, in a supermarket near you

López de Heredia, who make Tondonia, is one of the classic old Rioja houses. They are super-traditional, and make fabulously old fashioned and brilliantly ageable wines. They are not for modernists: winemaking here is quite oxidative with extended ageing in oak before release. It’s not quite up to Musar levels, but these wines are a [...]

Don't spit great wine!

In the wine trade, we taste. And then we spit. Have to, really, otherwise we’d all be permanently drunk and would die young.

Sometimes, though, a wine is too good to spit.

When I was tasting through the icon wines that The Sampler has just put on its enomatics, I found myself instinctively spitting the wines. But [...]

So what does a 89 year old table wine taste like?

I have just written up a Marques de Murrieta Rioja tasting, where we got to drink, among other lovely older wines, a bottle of Castillo Ygay 1925. It was remarkable.

Tasting old wines like this can be a bit random. By the time a wine is more than 20 years old, there’s no such thing as [...]

Lindes de Remelluri 2010 - a lovely new-wave Rioja

I was really impressed by this new-wave Rioja from Remelluri. 2010 was the first vintage with Telmo Rodriguez back at the helm of the family winery, and this is a stylish effort. If only all Rioja could be made in this elegant, focused, pure style!

Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de Labastida 2010 Rioja, Spain
13.5% [...]

Some amazing fine wines at The Sampler

Latour 1961 in the glass

Each Christmas The Sampler puts some rather special wines on its sampling machines, and this year is no exception. I popped into the South Kensington shop to try them; Islington has a different set of wines on. They aren’t cheap, but for many of these wines it’s a once in [...]

Two super Spanish wines, one red, one white, one cheap, one not

Berry Bros & Rudd have been putting a lot of work into their Spanish and Italian lists of late, and the results are very encouraging. Here are two lovely Spanish wines, at different ends of the price spectrum. They both deliver.

Telmo Rodriguez Almuvedre 2012 Alicante, Spain
Beautifully aromatic with bright cherry fruit. Floral and fresh with [...]

Raiding the incredible wine list at Rekondo, San Sebastian

Txomin Rekondo’s restaurant is a wine lover’s dream. He’s allowed his cellar to get completely out of control. With 150 000 wines, and a wine list that consists of a large book, you really need to arrive an hour early just to browse it and make your selection. You can get wines from around the [...]

Term starts again, and a tasting at the Perfect Cellar

Jose Sanfins, Chantelune

Holidays are over, and the wine tasting calendar starts again here in London. I was in town for the first tasting in a long time – a small portfolio tasting from The Perfect Cellar, a new-ish merchant with an eclectic list of small producers, and a shop presence in luxury retail space [...]

Ojuel Supurao, a remarkable, traditional, sweet red Rioja

Website: http://ojuelwine.com

This is something quite unique. It’s a sweet red wine from Rioja, made by Ojuel, a small winery whose focus is on making an old-style sweet wine from dried grapes which has all but disappeared from the region.

In the past, before the industrialization of winemaking in the region, people would typically roam the vineyard [...]

Four decades of Beronia Gran Reserva Rioja

I recently got the chance to taste (and drink) Beronia Gran Reserva Rioja from three different decades, spanning four decades in all, which was pretty cool. I’m not the greatest fan of traditional-styled Rioja, but when it’s good, it’s very good, and it can age brilliantly.

These three bottles were all compelling. The 1982 perhaps showing [...]