Roz,s Rioja trip
A couple of days in Rioja what a treat, except for the weather that saw us coming off the plane, but who needs sunshine when tasting good wines.
We started at Martinez Lacuesta one of the most respected names in the region and has been in the family since 1895. The founder was D. Félix Martínez Lacuesta a lawyer and businessman started it from a small shop in Haro and built it up over the years.
The winery was situated in the heart of Haro town but now been sold and they have built a state of the art modern winery in Paraje de Ubieta on the outskirts of the town.
We were given a tour of the winery, from the outside the building it looks deceivingly small, inside it turns into an Aladdins cave. As we walked around they were keen to tell us of their history and tradition and all around you can see the passion and attention to detail that has gone into the site. The cellars are 13 metres below and what a sight they were, the cellar where the barrels are stored went on and on, what a job it must have been to relocate. When the interior is finished it will have a spacious visitors area, tasting rooms, a private dining area and will overlook the vines to the hills in the distance.
They have an annual production of a million bottles which include red, white, rose and a delightful vermouth and they have been distilling by traditional methods since 1937, and new vines are been planted all the time with the future of the estate in mind.
A few that we are now stocking, great value and quality.
Martinez Lacuesta Tinto Cosecha Rioja Grape – Tempranillo £8.75 bottle
An elegant well balanced red which has spent 6 months in oak giving it a gentle smoky character, lovely black berry and violet fruits on the palate. A perfect match for slow cooked lamb, roast duck and dishes with a rustic twist.
Martinez Lacuesta Blanco Rioja Grape - Viura £8.39 bottle
A perfect example of a fresh young white Rioja, ripe tropical aromas and crunchy green fruit flavours, ripe, round and creamy on the finish. Great with shellfish, tapas and paella.
Martinez Lacuesta Blanco Fermentado Grape - Viura £11.39 bottle
This gem has spent 3 months in oak, lively banana aromas, touch of pear and liquorice, lovely weight with a creamy syrupy finish.
Martinez Lacuesta Rose Rioja Grape – Grenache £8.39 bottle
Delicate aromas of roses and summer fruits leads through to a fuller palate of ripe strawberries with a long crisp finish
The life of a vintner can be a lonely, frustrating experience but, just occasionally, it throws up the sort of opportunity that makes the whole thing worthwhile.
So it was that, in the company of food and drink writer and Birmingham legend, Paul Fulford, I set about one of the toughest food and wine matching challenges to date in the beautiful surroundings of Chung Ying Central on Colmore Row
For the final week we look at Louisvale, and will be opening their Stone Road Sauvignon Blanc and the newly arrived sparkling MCC Brut Chardonnay-
“We have a particular soft spot for Louisvale as it was our introduction to them 12 months ago and the subsequent success that their wines have enjoyed that encouraged this project in the first instance.