In August 2017 Jimmy Smith (Wine School Chief Taster) took his trusty steed, Jeff the signal-orange VW campervan, to the Iberian peninsula to investigate the world-renowned region of Rioja. As ever, with his arduous journeys traversing the vinous landscapes of Europe, he has selected the best producers and their best and most interesting wines for an evening special on traditional Rioja and modern Rioja. Discover his finds and why he has brought them into the UK for West London Wine School and our sister business Streatham Wine House.
The big debate of the past twenty years has been centred around the movement toward more intense, powerful and darker Rioja classed as modern, versus those that are classed as classic or traditional. These iconic old-styles of Rioja are less deep in colour, with ruby and brick hues, aged for long periods of time in older American oak, which give the wines a characteristic bouquet of leather, vanilla and dried flowers, from a blend of grape varieties and a number of vineyards. These are the styles that have captivated many wine lovers the world over and include great bodegas such as CVNE, La Rioja Alta, Marques de Murrieta, Marques de Riscaland Tondonia. Not only are these outstanding producers for red Rioja, their superb lightly-oxidised, well-aged and complex white Riojas are amongst some of the finest barrel-aged whites in the world.
The avantgarde modern wines are characterised by deep colour, fresh-fruit aromas, high extraction and the use of new French oak. The best examples will be sourced from low-yield vineyards due to the winemaker's influence or old vineyards. Great 'modern' Rioja houses are producers such as Pujanza, Bilbainas, Bujanda and Allende to name a few. These producers are innovators representing a return to creativity and the pursuit of quality that constitute the true essence of Riojan tradition - the same tenets that inspired those influenced figures at the end of the 18th century, during the second half of the 19th century and in the early decades of the 20th century.
On this evening we will taste a selection of Crianza to Gran Reserva of both Rioja Tinto and Blanco spanning all the traiditon and modernity we can get our hands on:
Wines on Tasting (9):
Remirez de Ganuza Rioja Blanco 2013Tondonia Vina Gravonia Rioja Blanco 2007Tobia Graciano Rioja Tinto 2012Fincas de Ganuza Reserva Rioja Tinto 2008Miguel Merino Rioja Reserva Rioja Tinto 2010Tondonia Vina Cubillo Rioja Reserva Rioja Tinto 2007La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Rioja Tinto 2007La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva Rioja TInto 2005Faustino 1 Gran Reserva Rioja Tinto 2004
There are only 14 places available on this special evening - book now!