Full Marks and Spencer – Campo Aldea ’08

graci 004

The back label of Campo Aldea 2008 decribes the wine as ‘exciting and rare’. This Riojan red wine is made exclusively from the Graciano grape, a variety which is more likely to form part of  a blend. Richard has posted positively about this grape before as, in Jerez, it’s called the Tintilla de Rota. M & S sell this at £12.99 and I would say that it’s good value at that price.

The colour is a uniform deep red, with no purple or brick edges and, surprisingly given its 14% ABV, with little evidence of viscosity. The nose is fragrant rather than powerful, hinting, as it does, of freshness and acidity. There was some evidence of the two years barrel ageing, but it was not over-powering. The palate showed refreshing acidity, balanced by the savoury qualities, but was gently rich and smooth with a sweet red-fruit tang. It had good length.

It was interesting to recognise what it brought to the Rioja blend – i.e. style rather than power – and this is reflected in the advice on the label ‘drink within 2 years of purchase’. I have to disagree with the food pairings recommended on the bottle –  ‘roast leg of lamb, beef stew’ – which I think could eclipse the delicate flavours. It’s acidity might match some tomato-based sauces.

It’s a well-made wine, good value, as well as being interesting. Well done M & S.

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