Torre de Oña Martelo Reserva 2012 Rioja, Spain

This is a new wine from La Rioja Alta’s sister property in Rioja, Torre de Oña. They bought the estate in 1995 with a view to doing something a bit different: making single-estate wines, which has not been the model for the region. This wine is a single plot selection, and it’s mainly old vine [...]

La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza 2008

I was impressed by this classically styled Rioja from La Rioja Alta. In a good vintage, like 2008, Viña Ardanza is a bit of a steal. It’s available from The Wine Society and Majestic for £22, which for this quality is really good value. You can cellar this and enjoy it any time over the [...]

Marqués de Murrieta Dalmau 2009 Rioja, Spain

This is a single vineyard wine from leading Rioja producer Marques de Murrieta. It’s a selection from the 60 year-old Canajas vineyard, which is part of the 300 hectare Ygay estate surrounding the winery in the south of Rioja Alta. Altitude us 465 m, and the varietal breakdown is 74% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and [...]

Icon wines at The Sampler, including Latour 82, La Chapelle 78 and Ygay 59

Each year The Sampler put some high-end ‘icon’ wines on their enomatic machines. It’s a real highlight tasting through them, and this year was no exception. The highlights included the almost perfect Latour 1982 and the thrilling La Chapelle 1978.

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg 1995 Burgundy, France
Beautifully aromatic with cherries, plums and fine spicies. [...]

Tapas crawling in Logroño, Rioja

I’m in Rioja, on a short trip with Vintae, a dynamic wine company looking to make authentic wines across several Spanish wine regions. They’re working with organics, marginal vineyards, forgotten vineyards and have a particular focus on Grenache. We’re staying in Logroño, so on the first night it was pretty much obligatory to go tapas [...]

Viña Tondonia Reserva 2004

This is a lovely wine. Lopez de Heredia is an ultratradtional winery in Rioja, with no concessions made to modernity. I really like their wines, which show lovely complexity, made in quite an oxidative style. This Reserva 2004 is still a baby, but shows brilliant potential. If you can find any of the whites, they [...]

The remarkable Marqués de Riscal City of Wine

Yesterday I visited one of the world’s most remarkable winery buildings. I had dinner at the Marqués de Riscal ‘City of Wine’. I’d heard about Riscal’s bold architecture, but it’s only when you get close and see the construction face to face that you realise how stunning it is. It pops out of the sleepy-looking [...]

At Contino, Rioja, with winemaker Jesús Madrazo

Contino is an estate-based winery, which is unusual in Rioja. It’s based on a 62 hectare vineyard that is at the beginning of Rioja Alavesa, not far from Logroño. The vineyard is in a 100 hectare meander of the River Ebro, facing south, at 400 m altitude.

Jesús Madrazo, Contino

We visited with winemaker Jesús Madrazo, [...]

Alvaro Palacios, the Decanter man of the year

Ever since 1984, UK wine magazine Decanter have bestowed an accolade on a figure from the the world of wine, crowning them man of the year. The first recipient was Serge Hochar. The most recent, and a very popular choice, was Alvaro Palacios, who at the age of 50 (he’s 51 on Monday) is still [...]

An amazing fine wine lunch at Chez Bruce

This was one of the most remarkable lunches I’ve experienced – and I’ve been to quite a few special lunches. The food, company and wines were all just perfect. The pace was ideal, too: there was no need to rush these special bottles: we started at 1215 and finished at 1730.

Keith and Greg

 

Jim and Neil

Neleen [...]