A Rioja with a sublime demeanour

2011 Cirsion, Bodegas Roda, Rioja, Spain

2011 Cirsion, Bodegas Roda, Rioja, Spain (£360 for a case of three bottles, Berry Bros & Rudd, 0800-280 2440, BBR.com; £160 for a bottle, HTFWines.co.uk; Hedonism, £192 for a bottle, £466 for a magnum, 020-7290 7870). 

This is one of the most expressive and captivating Riojas I have ever tasted. It has a modern style, crammed with black-cherry fruit and dripping in decadence, but it is not over-alcoholic, nor is it excessively oaky, and this is the key to its sublime demeanour. 

Made from the finest tempranillo vines in the esteemed Roda property, these grapes are considered to be the ripest of all, both from the point of view of the fruit, but also, crucially, from that of the anthocyanin. This means that the tannins and colour agents in the skins are tip-top quality and when fermented they result in the sleekest flavours with the least astringency. This extreme quality of fruit does not need over-oaking in order to balance its exuberant flavours because it has everything it needs already. The black cherry and liquorice notes sing without any assistance at all.

In fact, Cirsion only sees eight months in new French oak, which in the greater scheme of things in Rioja, is a blink of an eye. I cannot shout loud enough about this wine. Forget old-style, medicinal, brick-red Rioja for a moment and sink your teeth into beauty – it is an exquisite glimpse of the future.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).


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