Posted on 17.07.20 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: a fruit-driven, thoroughly modern Rioja

There was a time when I fell out of love with Rioja, finding too many wines a bit dusty and over-oaked, but the region has changed a lot, and this wine exemplifies that sense of renewal.

Capturing the fruit-bursting brightness of the region’s signature grape, Tempranillo, this is blended with the increasingly fashionable, more delicate, Garnacha, of which Ramón Bilbao’s veteran winemaker Rodolfo Bastida (read more about him here) is a huge fan.

Ramón Bilbao Selección Especial 2017 (£9.99, but a pound cheaper on Mix Six at Majestic Wine) has a vibrant red-fruited nose, leading into fresh, juicy red berries and plums, with crisp acidity and just a subtle grind of spice. It’s a versatile wine, great for red meat, or hearty pasta dishes, but it could also take a gentle chill on a summer’s night (take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you want it). From a great producer, it is hugely moreish and it offers decent value for money too. What’s not to love?

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