Top Riojas through the ages

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Sarah Jane Evans MW explores the stylistic evolution of Rioja and suggests the best wines to look out for and buy from vintages spanning the last two decades...
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Rioja, Benjamin Romeo
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Benjamin Romeo, Contador 2007

Benjamin Romeo, Contador 2007
Romeo was winemaker at Artadi for years before setting up on his own. He has a high-scoring, rockstar reputation, but is dedicated to old-vine Tempranillo and Tempranillo Peludo (meaning ‘hairy’). Contador, the top wine, is 86% Tempranillo and 14% Garnacha, aged for 18 months in new French oak. Unexpectedly elegant, with a superbly complex palate of black fruit, sweet spice and espresso. 19pts/20 (96/100pts)
Price £222–£275 Corney & Barrow, Handford, Hedonism, Turville Valley Wines
Drink 2015–2027
Alc 15%

Rioja, Benjamin Romeo
Rioja, Contino vina del olivo
Rioja, Botella Calvario 2005