|Co-op (Spain) Tempranillo Brut NV
Thanks to a string of well-priced blockbuster examples from Australia, sparkling red wines are no longer so rare or quirky that they cause a fuss amongst most wine cogniscenti. We've become used to sparkling Shiraz and occasionally Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, but this is the first sparkling Tempranillo I've come across. Made in Jumilla in south-east Spain, this uses the ubiquitous grape of Rioja to good effect, to produce a vividly purple wine with a foaming pink mousse, and a nose showing lots of bold red berries and hints of chocolate and cloves. On the palate the mousse is rich and rolling, though it dies quite quickly. There's a sweetness to the fruit on the palate, and a drying chocolaty texture, then quite a kick of briary tannin pushes through. This is not in the same league as the best Ozzie examples, but it is several pounds cheaper, fun, enjoyable, and Heaven-sent for barbecues and summer parties.