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Sunday, 19 June 2022

The CWB Inexpensive Co-op Rioja-Off

An inexpensive red and white Rioja from The Co-op

Asked to name a Spanish table wine, many people's first suggestion might well be Rioja; for a long time it was that country's most well-known oenological product.

These days, Spain produces a dazzling array of different wines of all colours and styles, for reasons I explain here: The Cambridge Wine Blogger: The CWB Spain-Off

Rioja's style of traditional winemaking, with aging in oak barrels, was brought to the region by the Bordelais fleeing the effects of Phylloxera in their homeland in the late 1800s. 

So it make sense to think of Rioja as akin to a warmer-climate Bordeaux, with plenty of fruit but also the structure and complexity to be food-friendly.

Here are two well-made and inexpensive Riojas from the Co-op.

Muriel Tempranillo Rioja, 2019 (£8:50)

From a family owned winery that prides itself on the quality of its Rioja wines. Founded by José Villaverde Murú in 1926 and revived by son Julian Murúa sixty years later.

ripe bramble fruits, roasted spices, dried herbs and woodsy undergrowth; sweet, ripe slightly jammy bramble and plum fruit; spices and herbs with very fine, slightly drying tannins.

Thoroughly pleasant.

Match with roasted red meats or a plate of charcuterie.

CUNE White Rioja (£9:50)

softly oaked, 100% Viura

white flowers, orchard fruits, citrus and grapefruit pith with toasty melonskin; supple, citrussy and fresh with with stone fruits; full and savoury.

Very adept.


A versatile food wine, match with roast white meats or a cheese board.

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