I hadn’t been to Spain for years but we went there on holiday last summer and I remembered why I like it so much. Great wines, amazing food and stunning architecture. Oh, and the weather is pretty good too. So, for this month’s ‘We Like Wine’ review, I thought I’d try this 2009 Baron De Ley Rioja Reserva to rekindle some of those sunny memories.
Rioja’s vineyards are in the north-east of the country, and the primary grape is Tempranillo, backed up by Garnacha. When you’re choosing a bottle of Rioja, you’ll notice that it’s described with one of three terms that relate to how long the wine has been aged in total before release and how much of that was in oak barrels. Crianza has usually been aged for two years with a minimum of six months in the barrel, reserva is three years with at least one in the barrel, gran reserva is a minimum of five years old before release with at least two of those in the barrel.
So, this 2009 Baron De Ley reserva was aged for 20 months in new oak casks and then further matured in the bottle. It has a pleasing cherry colour in the glass, a rich fruity aroma and just enough oaky gravity without being over the top. Served with simply grilled chicken and a selection of our favourite tapas dishes, it was like being on holiday all over again. A good value buy at any time of the year.