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Espartero Reserva Rioja

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This 2017 Reserva, from Bodegas Riovinsa, previously won a bronze medal from the International Wine Challenge, where it was described as having notes of herbs, tea leaves and red cherries. It was also a Bronze Winner at the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards.

Since its establishment in 1926, the winery has been operated by three successive generations of the Murua family. This wine is made mainly from Tempranillo grapes and undergoes a three-year aging process, with at least 12 months spent in oak barrels and an additional six months in the bottle.

I found this wine to be medium to full-bodied with a smooth texture. The flavour profile is rich, featuring dried fruit notes, vanilla and a subtle hint of spice.

Take care because the Reserva version has a black label unlike the non-Reserva counterpart which has a blue label. Although it’s typically priced at £6.50, you can usually get it for just £4.87 during 25% off promotions at Asda. In my opinion, it outperforms many Riojas that are two to three times the non-discounted price.