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Eight bargainous riojas

Sales of Rioja have boomed in the past 12 months, jump on the bandwagon (or wine truck) without breaking the bank…


Rioja, you know it – the one that often has some seemingly-pointless gold netting around the bottle, (as if that would protect it from anything). Anyway, it’s a classic wine and as such should carry the DOC certification to prove it is what it is. Medium bodied wines like Rioja are always a safe bet to sip with or without food, and if you’re a lamb fan, you cant go wrong with the classic pairing. Most Riojas will benefit from being decanted for an hour before serving. If you’re a no-traditionalist, try it lightly chilled to to bring out the fruitiness.

Winemakers’ Selection Rioja Reciente, £5.25, Sainsbury’s

Don’t let non-vintage put you off, this is a great blended wine with hints of vanilla and light oak. It’s picked up a few wine awards too, not bad for a fiver!


Vega Ariana Rioja, £6.79, Waitrose

Plums and cherries dominate, while hints of sweet oak and a tang of acidity keep it fresh and easily-drinkable.

Baron de Ley Camino del Monte Rioja Gran Reserva, £12.99, Morrisons

Juicy ripe fruit, toasted spice and fruitcake flavours are brought to life after a few hours breathing. A gold medal winner at the 2014 International Wine Challenge.


Cepa Lebrel Rioja Reserva 2010, £5.99, Lidl

You could easily think this wine had a tenner missing off the price. Rich and full flavoured with soft vanilla and strawberry flavours. One to hoard if you spot it!


Cepa Lebrel Rioja Joven 2013, £3.99, Lidl

Possibly the best bargain wine of the roundup; two quid cheaper than it’s big brother,but still a classy Rioja with plenty of traditional character. Serve with a rich casserole or rich cheese and you could easily be quaffing something far more expensive. 


Espartero Rioja Gran Reserva 2005, £7.00, Asda

Deep black cherry and raisin tones, light tannins and torched wood aromas make for a beautifully rounded wine with velvety finish. Comes in a natty box too so you’ll look like you’ve been splashing the cash!

Extra Special El Meson Rioja Gran Reserva 2004, £9.97, Asda

Two Gold trophies cant be bad, and this wine certainly shows why. Silky, fruity, toasted-caramel richness pings from the glass and finishes with a cocoa-rich finish.

Baron Amarillo Rioja Reserva 2009, £5.49, Aldi

Scooping 4 major wine prizes in the past two years, this show-off is another value-supermarket hero. Brimming with jammy dark fruits and a lingering warmth of aromatic spices and vanilla. 






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