About thirty years ago, I, along with John (an old and dear friend), bought Paternina Rioja from Vintage Wines in Nottingham. It came in heavy bottles holding 2.1l, (equivalent to three 70cl bottles). This was in the days before wine was standardised in 75cl bottles. In addition, Spain had not yet acceded to the European Union and, consequently, could market wine in unusual sizes. John recalls a heavily oaked nose and flavour, good length and a revelation to taste buds more used to Black Tower. In addition, it lasted up to a week once opened. Today’s Banda Azul is still aged in white American oak and is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha Tinta. Made traditionally, it is now not so heavy with gentle oak flavours. Medium fruit, medium length. Excellent with tuna salad while in Jerez on holiday. Purchased from Carrefour in central Jerez for €4.80, 13%.