This wine, which was once simply known as Alta Rio has been the wedding wine at a family wedding, the christening wine for Little Bill, as well as the go to wine for many family do's. We get it in bulk through a family connection so there is always plenty to go around.
The wine that arrived earlier this year is the Reserva 2004, whilst the two dozen I got last week are the 2001 vintage. (I think 2002 & 2003 were not great years in Rioja). I compared the two when the 2004 arrived and thought that the 2001 was fuller and more complex, whether this is a judgement on the wines themselves or merely a reflection of their relative ages, only time will tell.
Taste-wise, this a classic Rioja, made from 100% Tempranillo, ripe fruit, lots of oak and some firm tannins giving it a lovely structure, and all very well balanced.
I don't know if you can buy this in shops here, I have never seen it myself. If you do see it, its definitely worth a try even if Riojas are not your normal tipple. I suspect it would retail around €15 - €17.
Next: I keep planning to go back to Lidl and buy a few more random bottles but I keep being sidetracked. Rest assured this blog will get back to its roots and stated aims very soon.