Wine Tasting Video: Rioja & Ribera del Duero

Torres Celeste Ribera del Duero Crianza 2010 (£13.49 Cambridge Wines, Fenwicks, Grape Sense, Hailsham Cellars, Morrison’s Cellar, Robert & Speight, Wilks & Co,
Boisterous young wine, with meaty berry, bramble, plum and damson-skin flavours, plenty of warm earthiness and a spicy note, partly from fruit, and partly from oak that, while prominent, isn’t too intrusive. Balanced enough to enjoy now, fresh enough to have a promising future. S(-)

Dominio de Cäir Ribera del Duero 2009 (£19.99 Harper Wells, Halifax Wine Company, Planet of the Grapes)
An even bolder juicier and plumper style than the Torres, smells fresh, ripe and spicy, with a whiff of vanilla, but when you put it in your mouth, there’s some of the dryness that comes from slightly shrivelled grapes. Good but for me they picked this just a tad late. B+

Contino Rioja Reserva 2007 (£22.99 Waitrose, Tesco, The Wine Society, Harrods, Berry Bros & Rudd)
Gentle mellow style of wine, this wants to caress rather than maul. Combines gentle plummy berry and blackcurrant flavours with citrus peel finesse, gentle tannins and great length. An effortless harmonious style that keeps you coming back for more. S+

CVNE Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 2005 (£26.99 Waitrose, Majestic, Berry Bros & Rudd, The Wine Society, D Byrne)
I initially thought this was slightly corked, but it just needed some time to stretch after its slumber in bottle – Brad Pitt now probably looks a bit rough first thing in the morning, but he still scrubs up nicely…. As it opens up, the characteristics that had been a bit green and awkward to begin with develop into dusty, earthy herb notes, with a hint of tobacco in there, while the fruit uncurls to display its vanilla-scented strawberry and orange pleasures. Manages to be both weighty and profound, yet delicate, and thanks to the backbone of tannin and acidity has years of life ahead of it. G-

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