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Red Spanish Varietal over £10

And the winner is...

Bodegas Roda, Roda Reserva, Rioja Reserva,
Spain 2006 (14%)

Elegant and stylish fresh black fruit and new wood
giving a complex and complete palate with excellent
spicy length. Elegant, supple and drinkable.
UK: £24–£25.50; Han, Hen, LDr, Par, Tan, Wmb

Although this trophy can be contested by Spanish varieties from anywhere in the world, Spain was the setting for the duel. It was two relatively young wineries that made the final, with the more established, prestigious region of Rioja providing the victor. Roda burst upon the scene in Haro in 1987 with an ambition to make Rioja’s finest wine. It was founded by a Catalan couple, Mario Rotllant and Carmen Daurella – hence RoDa – and they hired Agustín Santolaya (now the CEO), an expert on the terroirs of Rioja, to find the finest plots with the finest grapes. The company then either bought or leased them and now controls 170 hectares; mainly Tempranillo but with a little Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo. The youngest vines are more than 30 years old and some up to 100 years old, and originally all the wines were bottled as genericos – ie, without using the traditional epithets. But in 2002, the bodega renamed its ‘second’ wine (originally called Roda II) Reserva.

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