Finca Besaya Rioja Reserva 2010
Rioja has long been a favourite with the British public, who love the gentle, soft, cedar notes that extended old barrel aging contributes to Tempranillo in this traditional part of Northern Spain.
A lot of people almost treat Rioja as a brand but the styles and levels are very different. Tinto (or Joven) on the bottle indicates a simpler red wine without any oak barrel aging. Crianza, Reserva are on the bottle to indicate the amount of barrel and bottle aging which gives the each wine it's distinctive character. indicating the wines must have been in large old barrels for at least a year and it is this treatment that gives those classic flavours you expect and want to find in a Rioja.
Reserva and Gran Reserva styles are imore evolved, complex and expensive wines.
Tempranillo is the classic red grape of Spain and has its own character under the oak treatment, a certain warm earth spice that compliments the oak spice very well. Tannins are gentle, the colour lightens in the barrels and the finish is beguiling and gentle.
Classic food match for Rioja is lamb, a gentler meat than beef but also a good style of red to drink alone as the tannins are muted.