I get the chance to drink some really good wines and two that I have enjoyed recently are a rare vintage dated manzanilla, Manzanilla de Añada 2012 from Bodegas Callejuela and Viña Real Gran Reserva 2001.

The manzanilla has not passed through the solera system and is possibly a little less fresh tasting than those that do. It is a very serious complex wine and is saline with notes of bitter almonds, camomile, iodone, citrics. The mouthfeel is wonderful and the after taste lingers for a very long time. It’s a wine that should always be accompanied by food, especially anything from the sea.  I will definitely be buying more of this.

The Viña Real is a classic wine and is quite often compared and contrasted with the Imperial Gran Reserva from the same winery (CVNE). The Viña Real comes in a burgundy bottle and the Imperial in a Bordeaux one. The Imperial tends to be the more structured of the two. 2001 was a great year in the Rioja and the Viña Real shows that. It’s got great sweet fruit with a complex backdrop of spìce, toasted oak, orange peel and lots more. It’s got great acidity and the tannins are still not fully resolved. I think it will only get better and so will leave my other bottle for at least 5 years.