Spanish reds from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro and Mentrida – where’s that???

Three videos to post in the next few days shot without my normal video camera – my son left it outside after filming a sequel to the World Is Not A Nerf. It still works, sort of, but is stuck on 70x magnification, something I only discovered after I’d uncorked the three sets of bottles for these videos… Anyway, I now have a new camera, so expect higher quality from next week onwards…

Lar de Paula Rioja Crianza 2007 (£10.99-£11.99 Stratfords Wine Agencies)
Starts off well with soft, rounded wild strawberry aromas, but then let down by a crude vanilla fudge-like oak character, and a slightly dusty staleness – shame as the initial fruit seemed decent. C

CVNE Rioja Crianza 2007 (£8.99 Majestic)
Lighter in style but relaxed and more confident with that wild strawberry and raisin tinged with spice and vanilla, juicy, fresh and food-friendly. B+

Berberana Reservas Privadas Mentrida Reserva Clásico 1877 2005 (£7.99 Majestic, Morrisons)
Warm, fleshy style with herby aromas and fleshy fruit that reminds me of the slightly artificial strawberry jam on a Birds Eye Victoria sponge (with bits of the cake-mix thrown in for good measure). B-

CVNE Rioja Reserva 2006 (£10.99 Waitrose, Majestic)
Tight, concentrated youngster, with abundant berry fruit (both red and black), touches of orange peel and herbs, and a bright, bouncy finish – still needs to come out of its shell, but very promising. S(-)

CVNE Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 1999 (£25.50 Berry Bros & Rudd)
Yum. Like lounging on a fruit-laden leather sofa in a gentleman’s club – gentle strawberry warmth pepped up by notes of orange peel, tobacco, spice, old leather and coffee. Polished and rounded, confident but never shouty, delicious. S+

Bodegas Tabula Damana Cinco Meses Ribera del Duero 2008 (£10 Bibendum)
Big plummy berry & orange peel flavours but spoiled by clumsy oaking – the barrel’s been used to add flavour rather than round out the gawky edges in the wine. Shame. B

Campo Alegre Toro 2007 (£17.60 H&H Bancroft)
Plush, polished, ripe and fleshy, with prominent oak but better balance than the Damana, orange peel, warm and ripe, and with a good few years of life ahead of it, but just a bit too perma-tanned for real class. S-

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3 thoughts on “Spanish reds from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro and Mentrida – where’s that???

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  • Travis

    After the 5-nil drubbing by Barça I may have to give up on Rioja wines for a bit and slide on over to Penendes.
    I always let football results dictate my drinking habits – unless they get in the way

  • Simon Post author

    I never let football results dictate my drinking habits – I’m from Manchester (the red side), and a diet of non-stop Boddingtons turns me cold…