Rummaging around in my wine rack the other day, I came across a few bottles of the Vina Mara Reserva Rioja 2007 I bought at least a couple of years ago and forgotten about, it was liking finding an old comfortable pair of slippers.
When I first drank these it was probably up there with the better Rioja’s I’d tasted at the time and enjoyed by everyone I shared them with. I was initially looking for something to drink with our Sausage & Chorizo Casserole and in the process of moving stuff around I also found a few bottles of it’s bigger brother the Vina Mara Gran Reserva 2004, another very good wine although I actually prefer the Reserva.
When poured there was a wonderful aroma of candle wax, dark fruits, smokey wood even a hint of church incense.
On first sip I thought, this is what a Rioja should taste like, full of raspberries, cherries with pronounced sweetish vanilla and a big hit of oak, transporting me to a tranquil bar in a sleepy Spanish village, Flamenco dancers kicking up dust with frantic guitar music playing in the background.
Although you can’t easily find the 2007 now, the 2008/9 vintages are still pretty good (still winning awards), maybe not quite as good, in my view but they are solid decent Rioja’s pretty much what you would expect from ever reliable Baron De Ley.
Tesco around £9