Tempranillo from Rioja and Toro

Viña Real Rioja Reserva 2010, Spain (£18.45 Hailsham Cellars, Clifton Cellars, Planet of the Grapes)
Rich and knowing style of wine, battle-scarred, but still very much alive, with meaty red berry and plum flavours, and spicy orange peel notes on the finish. Very tasty, and still on the young side. S(+)

Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2009, Spain (£28.85 Majestic)
Interesting contrast with the above wine, showing less immediate fruit and more of the savoury aged/woody characters, with some of what I call the warm dusty roof tile character coming through too. Full-bodied, but gentle, and still fresh – both of these are lovely. S(+)

Numanthia Toro 2010, Spain (£40 Majestic, Ocado, ND John)
Big, rich, ripe style, packed with plummy berry and liquorice flavour backed up by lots of tannin from both from grapes and oak. Some will love this bold style, but I wonder whether the fruit lacks the staying power to cope with those monster tannins. S-

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