Don Jacobo Rioja Reserva, Spain 2011



Our favourite Rioja producer by far, Don Jacobo have been at the heart of Rioja wine making for over 120 years and they are absolute masters of their trade. Not only this but they also 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.

The Reserva is made up of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo with the majority of vines being over 50 years old. Grapes are hand harvested and the wine spends 24 months in American oak barrels and 18 months in bottle.

What we love about these wines is their rusticity and their authenticity. We taste this and immediately know this is a Rioja, with some age to it.

The fruit here is mainly black, with characteristics of blackberry and black cherry yet it has so much more than fruit. It has notes of roasted coffee and cinnamon with a hint of caramel on the long finish. The body of the wine isn’t overly heavy and the years in the bottle has given this wine the opportunity to mellow, yet it is still beautifully complex.

This is amazing with roasted white meats (a great pairing for Christmas day if you have Turkey), and perfect with pork belly and crackling. If you are looking at more of a Spanish themed menu the savoury characters in the wine stand up beautifully to chorizo so try with a butter bean and chorizo stew or a chicken and chorizo ragu.

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