Two excellent Riojas


Two wines from the same stable, both lovely but quite different in style…

Torre de Oña Rioja Reserva 2012, Spain (£22 Armit)
Currently showing some youthful oakiness, but it’s in balance with the gushing red and dark berry, apple and orange peel flavour and hints of spice. Powerful and persistent, but never too big, with all that flavour held in check by a framework of oak and (ripe) fruit tannins. Still young so try and keep your mitts off it for another couple of years, and enjoy it for 10+ years beyond that. S+

La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2008, Spain (£24 Armit)
A more mellow, gentler style, with the same clove and orange peel character but more red berry than dark, and the vanilla and coconut notes that come from longer aging in American oak. Just as ageworthy as the Torre de Oña, but here, it seems to be acidity rather than fruit tannin that’s providing the structure. Long, elegant and, despite its potential, already extremely tasty. G-

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