A classic nose of red and black berry fruit, rich vanilla oak and savoury, mature notes. Crunchy, spicy tannins and juicy, fresh acidity on the palate with refined elegance. Great structure and length on the finish. A fantastic wine with plenty of time ahead.

Marqués de Riscal, Barón de Chirel, Rioja Reserva, Spain 2010

Established in 1858 by Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, Marqués de Riscal is the oldest winery in Rioja, but one that has always displayed a pioneering spirit and strived to innovate (it was the first to bring French varieties into the country; the first winery in Rioja to use a sorting table and in 2006 unveiled a ‘City of Wine’ hotel in a stunning new building designed by famed architect Frank Gehry).

The Barón de Chirel made its debut in 1986 following several experiments with different vinification methods, using very old vines (80-110 years old) and very low yields.

It is only made in the best of vintages, when Marqués de Riscal believe that the year’s conditions will result in a wine that will truly reflect the character of the terroir, the particular vineyard and the variety, ‘drawn together into a harmonious whole’.

In 2010 harvesting began on the 27th September following a particularly dry summer. Once the grapes had all been carefully picked and fermented, the wine was aged for 18 months in French oak, before being bottled in May 2012.

The total production of Barón de Chirel (when it does get made), is 40,000 cases; barely a drop in the ocean compared to Marqués de Riscal’s yearly output which runs into the millions.