The Wine Society’s ‘house’ Rioja is a confident, unfussy sort of affair. When you stuff your nose into the glass, you get a nice deep, serious kind of waft: a new pair of leather shoes just out of the box.
This is laced (see what I did there?) with a stalky vitality that lets you know: this isn’t going to be an unctuous, indulgent, wallowable kind of wine, but one with some youth, some punch, some spunk.
And, yeah, it’s not a fusty old Rioja. There’s a nice tannic weight to it, combined with a stinging little bite of sharpness. But these qualities are smoothed over somewhat by mulled red fruits: plums, cinnamon, pepper. And a dab of oak there at the back. Where I like it.
Like most of The Wine Society’s ‘house’ range, this is an admirably solid, dependable wine for a very good price. Spend £7 on a Rioja in the supermarket and find one as good as this and you’ll be fortunate indeed.
That said, it’s not flawless. It’s a tad thin in the mouth for my liking, and (for my taste) the sour bite is a little overdone. I’d like this aspect of the wine reigned back a little. So — as I’ve implied — it’s dependably rather than inspirationally good.
Not that I’m so naïve, dear reader, as to expect inspiration for £7. Dependability suits me just fine.
Price £6.95 from The Wine Society