Manoso, Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain (bottle price £20)
The excellent clay-calcareous soil of Rioja Alavesa together with its optimal microclimate provides the right conditions to grow the most esteemed varieties of wines. 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. We recently had a Zoom call where we were shown around the winery and it just highlighted how much of a family affair this production is. Rioja is arguably Spain's top wine region and is one of only two regions classified under the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) system.
It's two most important red grapes are Tempranillo and Garnacha. There are four categories of red wine in Rioja “Gran Reserva” wines are required to age for a minimum of 5 years. The Manoso has extended ageing time in oak of 3 years and is a superbly balanced Gran Reserva.