Baron de Ley
Rioja comes in both traditional and modern styles; traditional Rioja is aged extensively in oak for complexity and mellowness while the modern approach emphasises aromatics and freshness.
As ever in life, the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle, plenty of fruit without losing complexity or food-friendliness.
These two wines from Baron de Ley are both very much in the modern style; pure, fresh and clean with generous fruit.
They are well-made and easy-drinking but also complex, sophisticated and adept.
Spain's Barón de Ley is based in Rioja; housed in a centuries-old monastery, where the monks made wine more than 500 years ago, Barón de Ley was founded in 1985 as a ground-breaking project in DOCa Rioja: a vineyard-focused winery inspired by the Médoc châteaux.
The winery owns more than 600 hectares of vineyard in different sub-regions guaranteeing top-quality wines with personality.
A blend of Viura, Garnacha blanca and the somewhat rare Tempranillo blanco, grown at altitude for freshness.
Modern, fresh crisp and aromatic; white peach, white flowers, lemongrass, citrus and fresh green peppery herbs, white pepper, saline minerality and zesty lime and grapefruit zippiness; creamy brazil nut underpinnings; taut, precise and linear.
Match with herby chicken, saltimbocca, or cod in a parsley broth.
Rioja Reserva 2016
Varietal Tempranillo fermented in stainless steel for freshness, then aged in oak for complexity and bottle aged for mellowness.
Red fruits, spice and leathery balsamic; ripe yet fresh berry fruits, pepperiness and sweet spices, wild herbs; full and supple, harmonious with rounded, well-integrated tannins, concentrated and long.
Improves with aeration and will age further.
Match with roast red meat, darker game or roast chicken.
Baron de Ley recommend matching with Riojan potatoes, a pottage of potatoes and chorizo with nuances of bay leaf and chorizo pepper. It also pairs with white meat, mushrooms and mushrooms and vegetable stews.
Fuller details from Baron de Ley's website