Saturday, January 28, 2006

Luginilla Rioja Gran Reserva 1998

Despite having been told that this was not worth bothering with, I decided to make my own mind up about it anyhow, not being much of a Rioja expert, I argued (to myself) that I should try this then if and when I have something truly terrific I would be able to know the difference. However this was a medium bodied, garnet coloured joy that went a treat with a rare roast lambs leg. Slightly nutty, with aromas of plumbs vanilla, cedar and oak and strangely a slight "meatiness" which was very attractive, and once in the mouth the oak, plums and strawberry flavours were well balanced by the medium tannin levels and the acidity giving it structure - this surprised all of us tasting it how good it was. Some amongst us - don't like oaky wines and were worried by the 36 months in the wine had spent in oak barriques - however it had been done sensibly and the wine allowed to age well before release giving it a softness and a complexity that was delicious. I'd recommend it fully and with £5 off at Sainsbury's at the moment £13.99 down to £7.99) this is well worth exploring. It has also made me decide that once the wine course is up - that's me done with cheaper wines - I want more of this!

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