This week’s wine is a comforting, oak-matured red for wintery weather and warming food. It’s a limited production from two of Rioja Vega’s oldest vineyards (mainly Tempranillo planted more than 50 year ago) made in a deliberately modern, full style to bring out vibrancy as well as richness – dark, glossy black fruit shot through with liquorice, spice, dark chocolate and toasty oak and a seductive cappuccino creaminess. While it’s a good match for red meat, especially lamb, it won’t overpower pheasant or pork and it doesn’t demand meat: it would make a good partner for a baked pasta or root vegetable dish or hard cheeses. If you want something older and just a little more traditional, though still with plenty of rich fruit, Rioja Vega’s Gran Reserva 2009 is also excellent and good value at £15.95.
Rioja Vega Crianza Edición Limitada 2013