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Faustino Rivero (Spain) 'Fru' Rioja Reserva 1999
I tasted an extremely interesting wine from Faustino Rivero called 'Nostalgia' that is presented as throwback to pre-barrel days in Rioja, when Tempranillo was not aged for years in spicy American, or indeed more modern French oak. It was liquoricy and herbal, and quite fascinating at 7.99. I chose this Reserva however, on sheer drinking pleasure. With 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, it has a bright, juicy nose, with notes of leaf tea, herbs and a fine quality of juicy black fruit. There is lovely sweetness and depth on the palate, with plenty of punch from good acidity, crisp tannins and the intensity of fruit. Long, balanced, and excellent. £8.99 Aston Jones, Bairds, Halifax Wines, Bablake Wines, Cardinal Wines, Corks Out, Cockburns of Leith, T. Wright. The Nostalia is available from the same retailers.