Campo Viejo, Rioja Garnacha 2012, Spain
Rioja is in itself a really strong wine 'brand' in the UK. Ask any wine shop owner or restaurateur and they'll tell you that Rioja is often the first choice for those seeking to splash out on a decent bottle. Perhaps it is the easy-to-pronounce-name (certainly easier than a bottle of Irouleguy or even Chassagne-Montrachet from France!), but also it's the typical Rioja profile of smoky, deep fruit and vanilla that is always so appealing.
Campo Viejo must be one of the best known Rioja names on UK wine shelves. Their wines are permanent fixtures in many of the UK's major retailers. But this new wine from them is something a little more unusual: it's still Rioja, but Rioja with a difference. The huge majority of Rioja wines are based on the Tempranillo grape, but many progressive producers have recently been releasing single varietal wines made from other local grapes. In this case, Campo Viejo has chosen Garnacha, also known as Grenache in France. The wine is 100% Garnacha, aged for four months in American oak barrels, and presents an abundantly creamy, juicy and soft berry-fruited nose. There's that layer of vanilla, but really nice, buoyant fruit too. In the mouth there is more of that creamy softness. It's not as structured and serious as some Riojas, but then it makes up for that with its easy drinkability. The wine is fresh and approachable, despite a hefty 14.0% alcohol. Watch the video for specific food matching ideas and more information. £8.69, Asda, Sainsbury's Local, Ocado. See all stockists on wine-searcher.com.