Four Spanish reds – Rioja and Vinos de Madrid

Cantiga Rioja Crianza 2006 (£8.99 The Real Wine Company)
Refreshing, vibrant style of wine, with ruddy wild strawberry and plum flesh tinged with cinnamon and clove, and finely-tuned oak adding a touch of vanilla – very tasty and beautifully balanced. S

Viña Pomal Rioja Reserva 2003 (£10.99 Majestic)
Showing some mellowness from age, but still with quite rich juicy red berry fruit. The touch of jamminess and slightly dry finish speak of the hot vintage, but overall a decent style with the potential to improve further. S-

Bodegas Orusco ‘Main’ Crianza 2006, Vinos de Madrid (N/A in UK)
Broader shouldered than the two Riojas, this also has an extra layer of warmth and there’s also the slightly skin-y character of slightly dried-out fruit. Overall dense and spicy, with chunky berry and blackcurrant flavours. B(+)

Señorio de Val Azul Fabio VI, Vino de Mesa, Spain (N/A in UK)
Much bolder, ripe and richer, with a definite raisin edge and an almost roasted meat/savoury character, some smoky vanilla from the oak, and chunky berry flavours. But ultimately a TTH – trying too hard to impress. B+

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