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Vina Arana Gran Reserva, La Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta is one of the great names in the world of wine, making truly magnificent wines. Vina Arana was always made as a Reserva, but from the 2012 vintage, they have extended the ageing to elevate it to Gran Reserva. The result is impressive – very smooth and complex; drinking well now but will improve for decades to come!

‘O Rosal’, Terras Gauda

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

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!

Verdejo, Duquesa de Valladolid, Rueda


Duquesa de Valladolid is Bodegas LAN’s project in Rueda, the Spanish region which is currently in vogue for its crisp and aromatic white wines. Winemaker Olga Tormo is an expert in handling aromatic grape varieties and has used her winemaking know-how to elevate the bright tropical aromatics and subtle herbal notes of Verdejo to a new level.

The Verdejo grapes are grown in vineyards situated at 600 to 800 metres above sea level in the North of the Rueda appellation and benefit from a wide diurnal range, with warm days counteracted by cool nights. This slows the ripening and ensures that the grapes accumulate great aromatic flavour intensity while retaining a crisp and vibrant acidity. Harvesting at night and a cool ferment in stainless steel ensures that the freshness and aromatics of the grapes are preserved in the wine. Following fermentation, a brief period of ageing on the lees adds textural complexity. The result is a clean, crisp and bright wine, bursting with aromas of passionfruit, freshly cut grass, green apple, lemon, lime and pineapple.

Great value wine and a good all-rounder; perfect to have on hand when the sun shines or when friends pop round. Very good!