90

2011 Perez Burton Rioja

( £9.99 down to £7.49, 14%, Marks & Spencer )

Telmo Rodriguez is a brilliant interpreter of the Tempranillo grape, producing wines that are modern, yet appealingly traditional at the same time. This varietal number from high altitude vineyards around the village of Lanciego, is a very serious red for less than a tenner. Juicy, structured and sweetly oaked, with tannins and concentration that will enable the wines to age further in bottle. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Spain, Red, Tempranillo
89

2011 João Portugal Ramos F'Oz, Alentejo

( £9.99, 14%, Waitrose )

The Alentejo is becoming more and more impressive with each vintage as a source of southern Portugal’s best red wines. This great value, under-a-tenner blend of Aragonez (aka Tempranillo), Trincadeira and Castelão is a case in point. It’s aromatic and refreshing, with no sign of sun-baked, raisiny flavours, fine tannins, notes of chocolate, black cherry and plum and a firm, but well balanced finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Portugal, Red, Castelão, Tempranillo, Trincadeira
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