Manoso, Crianza, Rioja, Spain (bottle price £12)
The fortress known as Rioja Wine is built on a foundation of Tempranillo. This grape is hugely popular around the world but its true homeland is on the Iberian Peninsula. Crianza is perhaps the most accessible level of Rioja wines. At the Crianza level, the wines are most commonly aged in used oak, so the oak flavours are not as strong.
The excellent clay-calcareous soil of Rioja Alavesa together with its optimal microclimate. Bodegas Ruiz de Vinaspre was founded in 1910 by the grandfather of the current owner, it was located in the centre of Elvillar, parallel to the main square. The wine was produced in that winery until 1978 at this point another winery was built, at the entrance of the town, Where the current portfolio of wines are produced by the current owner and his father.
Rioja is arguably Spain's top wine region and is one of only two regions classified under the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) system. As mentioned before “Crianza” wines are required to age for a minimum of 2 years, with 12 months spent in oak barrels. The Manoso is a wonderful balance of oak and red fruit.