Summer is the time for lighter-styled Reds, so for our Summer Tasting we selected a number of different reds from Portugal and Spain and here we talk a little about each of the 5 Top Selling Reds, most of which will (of course) be good for all-year drinking.
First up is Ai Galera Poetico an ‘any day’ Red and excellent choice for Barbeques! From the Tejo area of Portugal, this is a light to medium-bodied, fruity young red. With appealing brambly fruits and red berry flavours, it is smooth and has some depth. We love the label too! Excellent value at £7.75.
Our 3 top selling Reds at our Summer Tasting were Merayo Mencia, Care Garnacha and Mil Historias Garnacha. We have long championed Merayo Mencia, a refined, great value, red from the same family-producer as the Godello (which you can read about in our top selling Summer Whites). The Mencia is a lesser-known grape which has been described as the Pinot Noir of Spain; it has similar characteristics of fresh, refined fruit, smoothness and lightness.
This is an inviting young red with aromas of cherries, blueberries with violet hints. It has a smooth cherry fruit palate and smooth tannins. Jancis Robinson gave this 16/20 (high marks for Jancis!) “Pure mulberry varietal fruit, with light tannins on the end and the right amount of acidity” £9.75 (RRP £10.99)
They say things come in pairs and they do from Bodegas Care, as we had two of their wines on taste at our Summer Tasting. Care Garnacha Nativa was one of our 3 top selling reds. Like its sister white wine, with a similar label, it has also won a Gold Medal; this time in the Concours International 2022.
It has immediate attractive and intense blackberry and dark cherry aromas, with mocha hints. This is a fresh, elegant and complex red with an abundance of dark cherry, black fruits and hints of coffee beans.
It is made from old vine Garnacha and aged in American oak barriques for 8 months. Medium to full-bodied with ripe tannins. £10.75 (retails around £12.50 in independents).
Our next best selling red, comes from one of the highest vineyards in Spain at 1100 metres. Rosalia and Manolo, at Bodegas Altolandon in DO Manchuela (Spain), farm their 120 hectares of vineyards using biodynamic practices, low yields and minimal interventions.
Mil Historias Garnacha 2021 (organic) is another perfect expression of this grape. A combination of the vineyard altitude and hence climate, coupled with their organic/biodynammic viticulture and wine-making, produces a distinctively fresh Garnacha style. This grape produces some fantastic quality wines in Spain.
It has intense aromas of strawberries and herbs, which lead into a medley of strawberry, plum and black cherry fruit with touches of pepper and a savoury, light, balsamic finish. A medium-bodied, complex red which is elegant with a lovely freshness and great length. It has an eye-catching label too! £11.25 (sells at £12.99 – £14.95 in independents).
Finally, Urbina Crianza 2012 was a popular wine with Tasters; it is the epitome of an elegant, mature Rioja Crianza. It has immediate appeal with creamy, smooth black fruit flavours with good structure and smooth, velvety tannins. A beautifully, balanced and refined Rioja with brilliant length; a special treat.
Bodegas Urbina is a family-owned, single estate in the northern area of Rioja Alta; they release their wines with a substantial amount of barrel and bottle age, so you can enjoy a mature Rioja in peak condition, without cellaring it yourself. In Tim Atkin MW words “Showing the sweetness and lightness of touch that are the hallmarks of the bodega’s reds, this pure Tempranillo is spicy, savoury and very smooth with palate-caressing tannins and a balsamic flourish. 92 Points.” £13.99
We hold just a few of these informal, drop-in Tasting afternoons a year, to join us you need to be a subscriber to our Newsletter to hear about it early as spaces are limited, and booking is essential. Tastings are held near Emsworth PO10; you can subscribe at the bottom of the page!