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Rioja Reserva 2006, Bodegas Urbina

£26.95
A family-run estate that practises organic methods. The bodega is situated in Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón, on the north-western edge of Rioja. Four generations of the family have dedicated themselves to the cultivation of their vineyards and the production of wine. Their sole objective, the production of quality wines, has been achieved as the result of careful viticulture using traditional techniques, harvesting by hand and avoiding the use of weed killers and pesticides.The 2006 Reserva Especial contains Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graziano and has more complex, caramelised aromas. The maturity of this wine really sets it apart from other Riojas and is a steal at this price. With the oak and fruit flavours fully integrating, this is deliciously smooth and really quite special.Drink with grilled lamb...

‘O Rosal’, Terras Gauda

£21.95
Terras Gauda was the first Galician winery to really make me think that World class wines could be produced here. Their vineyards are located in the subzone of O Rosal on the terraces that rise steeply above the river Miño which divides Spain from Portugal. This wine is a selective blend of the best Albariño grapes in the O Rosal subzone, mixed with the indigenous Loureira and Caiño Blanco, it is greenish-yellow, evoking white flowers and green plums on the nose and filling out on the palate with fresh grape and apple compote flavours as well as peach kernel. Edged with superb acidity and a bristling minerality this reminds me of a cross between really good Riesling and Premier Cru Chablis.The perfect wine for seafood, salads or simple fish dishes.

Guimaro Tinto Joven

£16.95
Pedro Rodriguez descends from a long line of colleteiras working in the Amandi area, Ribeira Sacra’s most prime subzone with south facing vineyards planted on slate, called Loxa locally, just above the river Sil. His parents Manolo and Carmen still work the vineyards daily. They also maintain a small finca of mixed agriculture, very common in Galicia, raising chickens, rabbits, pigs, and cultivating a sizable vegetable patch. The culmination of the family’s agrarian traditions manifested with the establishment of their adega in 1991. Before 1991, Pedro’s family produced small quantities of wine for their own consumption and sold their wine in garrafones 20 litre glass containers- to local cantinas. It was an oenologist from León and soon to be a close family friend, Luis Buitrón, who was instrumental in the creation of the Ribeira Sacra D.O. and helped the Rodríguez family begin estate-bottling their wines. They named their winery Guímaro, which means “rebel” in Gallego a nickname of Pedro’s grandfather. Guímaro was one of the first adegas to join the appellation in 1996. In the beginning the wines were simple jovenes, young wines that showed the slate-infused freshness of lush red fruit and supple texture, the kind of wines the area of Amandi was known for. They continue that tradition with this un-oaked Tinto an amazing value year in and year out.Similar in weight to decent Beaujolais or Valpolicella, this is a really versatile wine complimenting all sorts of dishes from pizza, roast chicken and pork dishes. In fact, i can't think of a better roast pork wine!

Vina Ilusion Rioja, Plaza Medina

£13.95
Ilusion is a project brought to life by Martín Alonso and Gloria Plaza in the Rioja Baja sub-zone of the region. Here, in their chalky, iron laced clay soils at around 700m of altitude, the two organically farm their 5 hectares with the utmost care according to the Fukuoka (author of “One Straw Revolution”) method. While it has been called “do nothing farming” for the lack of additions (neither chemical nor organic fertilizer) and general outlook that healthy cultivation is more about long-term planning and careful observation than it is about attempting to micromanage and control agriculture, Fukuoka farming has become trendy with some very respectable vignerons. Way before this came to pass, and before current luminaries such as Michael Pollan namechecked him, Alonso travelled to Japan nearly 30 years ago to learn from Fukuoka himself. Farming ideology aside, we should mention that this wine is a delicious, gulpable expression of Rioja: full of mixed berries and red fruits, juicy, delightful to drink.A great party red, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Hacienda Grimon, Rioja Blanco Sauvignon Blanc

£13.50
Hacienda Grimón is run by the Oliváns, a family with a long winemaking tradition in Rioja. Grimón was established by Paco Grimón who runs the bodega and his brother Eliseo who takes care of the viticulture. Their 25 hectares of vineyards are based in the Valle de Jubera, a secluded and little-known corner of Rioja Alta with a great viticultural history. Viticulture is organic – “always has been here, why do I need certification?” – with no use of herbicides and pesticides, sheep manure is used as fertilizer. Hand harvesting is employed for all their vineyards. Great care is taken to provide the healthiest grapes of the highest quality.This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is aged in old 225-litre barrels following fermentation for a short period before bottling, giving up a floral and aromatic white with a lovely texture on the palate.Goes particularly well with grilled shellfish.