Mmmm, Rioja, my first love, you’ll always find an array to choose from on any supermarket shelf unfortunately a lot of them are fairly run of the mill or not particularly good, I’ve had some shockers which usually end up down the sink not even making it to the casserole or bolognaise. Get a good one though and you can be transported to sunnier climates, with dusty plains, soft Flamenco music playing in the background and a table full of tasty Tapas.
This Era Costana Crianza 2011 still has the Flamenco music in the background but with the sun obscured by a few clouds. Picked this up in Sainsbury’s a little while ago, it’s currently £8.50 but I bought it on offer for around £6 and at this price it’s a pretty decent everyday Rioja.
Bright cherry red in the glass with a slight rusty tinge. Heady aromas of Juicy dark plums, strawberries and blackberries with some bonfire ash flying around the glass.
First sip, there was some fresh bracing acidity and ripe juicy plums and strawberries. This has had one year in oak and the toastiness was there but not overpowering and it was a little tannic. Candle wax, church incense and dust all there too but was very much on the rich side. My wife on first taste thought it was a bit strong and at 14% she may have a point.
This needs to be aired for quite a while and it will soften, drink it with food to get the best out of it. I kept a little back for the following day and it was an altogether nicer wine softer and less sour and overall I liked it, nothing spectacular but I didn’t expect it to be.