Rioja Royal Tinto, Bodegas Franco-Espanolas
£9.99

Country : Spain

Grape Varieties : Tempranillo; Garnacha.

A lively, fruity 'Joven' (i.e. 'young') Rioja, with juicy red cherry fruit. The style is  fruit-driven, but four months' ageing in American oak brings an extra warmth and spiciness to the flavours.

Tasting Note : Bright ruby red in colour, the wine exhibits ripe cherry fruit on the nose. Red cherry flavours follow through onto the palate, with hints of toastiness and spice.

Food Pairing : Meat Paella; meatballs in tomato sauce; pork chop; stuffed red peppers.

More info : This vibrant young red is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes. After traditional vilification, the wine is aged in American oak for around four months to help it mature and to introduce complex flavours of vanilla and toast. It subsequently spends at least six months in bottle before being released. This is a great all-round red; not too oaky like the older Riojas, not too heavy and with very low tannins. If you enjoy a glass of red without food, this smooth character is a great option.

Winery : Bodegas Franco-Espanolas was founded in 1890 at a time when French winemakers were moving to Spain to escape the scourge of phylloxera which was devastating their vineyards. Originally a collaboration between Fréderic Anglade Saunat from France and various Spanish partners, the winery has consistently produced high quality wines over the past 125 years. Now under the ownership of the Eguizabal family, there are lots of new projects underway to keep the winery evolving in line with modern requirements, without losing its links with history and tradition. The wines from this producer really do offer fantastic quality for price; we highly recommend them.