94

2007 Roda Reserva, Rioja

( £25.99 down to £18.74, 14%, Sainsbury's )

A top Rioja Reserva for less than £20? Sounds very appealing to me. This is very much a modern style Rioja, with the emphasis on Tempranillo (97% of the blend here, with 3% Graciano for added backbone) and the ability to age further in bottle rather than drinkability on release. This is sweetly oaked, with fine tannins, fresh, minerally acidity and a core of red and black fruits. Long, textured and very complex, it’s still a very young wine, so hold off if you can. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Spain, Red, Graciano, Tempranillo
91

2009 Cillar De Silos, Ribera del Duero

( £15.50, 14%, Oddbins )

Serious, concentrated, inky Tempranillo from Ribera with excellent structure and acidity. This is less oaky than some of this bodega’s releases and better for it in my view, with flavours of plum and spice, a touch of vanilla and a backbone of tannin. Should age well, too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, Red, Tempranillo

Everyday value?

by Matt Walls
Lined up against the wall in my hallway, they stood quietly like forlorn commuters queuing for a bus. These were not bottles to make a taster salivate. Why didn’t I...
92

2004 Cune Imperial Reserva, Rioja

( £14.99, 13.5%, The Co-operative )

This was a Christmas deal at The Co-op, so the price may have crept back up again in 2013, but this is still one hell of a wine: a Reserva Rioja from a top producer in a legendary vintage. It’s just starting to show its class, so don’t be afraid to tuck it away for a few years. Savoury and sweet with good structure and spice and finely judged oak. 

Drinking window: 2013-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, Red, Tempranillo
89

2011 Yalumba Running with Bulls Tempranillo, Barossa Valley, South Australia

( £10.99, 13.5%, Auswinesonline.co.uk, Direct Wines, Noel Young Wines, The Oxford Wine Company )

Tempranillo ought to be more widely planted than it is in Australia, given its adaptability. Think Somontano and Toro in terms of the diversity of Spanish climates it works well in. This is a very decent, wine bar style red that wouldn’t look out of place in Pamplona, the city to which its name alludes. Brambly and supple, with gentle oak and sweet red fruits.

Drinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Australia, Red, Tempranillo
86

2010 Vega Ariana, Rioja

( £5.99, 14%, Waitrose )

Blended by Waitrose’s Spanish buyer, Nick Room, this is a tasty introduction to Spain’s best-loved wine style, a Tempranillo-based red with a hint of sweet, coconutty American oak, lots of soft red fruits, bright acidity and supple, palate-caressing tannins. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-13Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Spain, Red, Graciano, Grenache, Tempranillo
87

2010 Minarete, Ribera del Duero

( £5.49, 13.5%, Aldi )

This wine was a hit when I recommended it on Saturday Ktichen recently, so I thought I’d give it another outing. It’s impressive value at just over a fiver and works really well with lamb dishes. The Tempranillo (Tinto Fino) in Ribera is fresher than in Rioja because it’s grown at altitude, and that’s the case here: fine tannins, bright red fruits and good balance. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: 86-90, Spain, Red, Tempranillo