Bodegas Lecea’s deep underground cellars in San Asensio are some of the most beautiful in Rioja, popular with wine-loving tourists in search of good reds, a friendly family welcome and a brush with the past. Some of the concrete tanks in these cool galleries date back to the 1890s.
Look closer and they bear the names of different vineyard parcels – Campillo, Cofrades, Peña La Cueva – a throwback to a time when Rioja had more in common with site-specific Burgundy than catch-all Champagne, a time before pan-regional blends became the norm.
Scroll down for Tim Atkin’s top single-vineyard white and red wines from Rioja
The old timers knew where their best grapes came from, and not just in San Asensio. Riojans have always acknowledged the primacy of certain plots and villages, even when they blended them, and most still do today.
Atkin’s dozen: top single-vineyard Rioja white and red wines
Wines 1-6 are ‘Viñedo Singular’, the rest are single-vineyard wines