Artuke Finca de los Locos, 2021

Blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Viura grapes - I asked for an unusual Rioja with a lighter touch. An interesting chat about Graciano ensued. It is being used more widely in Rioja adding perfume and a higher acid freshness. Evident in the primary floral note aromas. 

Interesting to have the familiar tannic structure restrained and balanced by acidity. 

Viura, the white grape widely planted in Rioja (Macabeo in France), also adds to the floral character. Viura also has decent aging potential so with these two grape varieties blended with more familiar Tempranillo, this is an unusual treat from Rioja.

Bottle weight 582.5g - A decent effort for sustainability.

UK price ~£30


Hermanos Hernaiz 'El Jardin de la Emperatriz’ 2018 Rioja Alta

88% Tempranillo, 9% Garnacha, 2% Graciano, 1% Maturana Tinta

12 months in American (70%) and French (30%) oak barrels.

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CVNE Rioja Reserva 2014 Review

A quality Rioja that never disappoints. This deep, succulent, rich red will take the edge off the hardest day. Lovely complex range of flavours including leather and vanilla from the oak, smooth rounded tannin intertwine with ripe satisfying cherry flavours. 

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Cune Rioja Reserva Review: seasonal classic pleasure

under 25 blueA lovely classic Rioja Reserva with ripe dark red Fruit, easy going tannin, succulent body. Sexy on its own or pleased to assist with a wholesome bite of your favourite wholesome dish. At this time of year some oven roasted rabbit seasoned with lemon, honey, rosemary and thyme should do the job perfectly well!

Cune make very good benchmark quality wine and this 2013 reception is no exception.

£12.99 from Majestic (or cheaper when mixed with a case of 6)

Available in the UK from Majestic, Waitrose Wine Cellar

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Mind expanding Rioja's - Cheek to cheek, not head to head! (part 1)

Wines from this famous part of north west Spain are part of the modern British psyche. In this first segment of notes we taste 1 crianza and 2 reserva’s. These examples are great examples of what benchmark Rioja should taste like - rich and dangerously pleasurable.

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The Finest Rioja: Old World, Old School

What is it about this time of year that begs for open fires, roasted dinners and the taste of fine wines? It’s the latter that acts as a flowing ink joining the dots across memory and landscape. It connects our primordial selves to something we can’t quite describe yet, like soft caresses, translates into the language of pleasure. Yup, that is the work of damn good wine from Rioja!

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Autumn Wine Tip: Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2010

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COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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