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Bodegas Corral, Don Jacobo Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2005


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Our favourite Rioja producer by far, Don Jacobo have been at the heart of Rioja winemaking for over 120 years and they are absolute masters of their trade. Not only this but they pair their traditional approach with state-of-the-art winemaking equipment, this means that not only do you benefit from their expertise but also from the amazing equipment they have invested in and their gravity fed winery. Their traditional approach means that ageing their wines is at the heart of all that they do and they massively exceed legal ageing requirements with lots of their wines and this is really evident in the quality of their juice.

It would be fair to say they obsess over their vineyards which gives a guarantee of their high standards. Their experts know how to extract the most appreciated qualities from the vines, thanks to the precise and constant care that they show in the vineyards: pruning, tilling the land, monitoring the first shoots and their slow maturation and when the harvest arrives, the effort is rewarded with exceptional grapes.

We absolutely love this Gran Reserva, to us it is everything that Rioja should be. A blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha with 24 months ageing in barrel and a massive 7 years in bottle (which is way above the legal requirement of 2 years in bottle and 2 years in barrel). This wine has had time to mature and this is so evident on the palate. It is full of soft fruit and vanilla, spice and that classic savoury, smoky character that older Riojas are famous for. An absolutely stunning example of one of the worlds classic wines and amazing value for a wine of this age.

This is beautiful with roast lamb or really works with a variety of game dishes. Try with pigeon pie or roasted grouse.

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