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...
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