A classic, mellow Reserva with hints of spice and vanilla from ageing in oak barrels (Reserva Rioja must spend a year in barrel and 6 months in bottle before being sold). Izadi was founded relatively recently in 1987, by the Anton family who were originally Michelin-starred restauranteurs before making wine too. They are based in the Basque part of Rioja (‘Izadi’ is Basque for Nature) in Northern Spain, in the vineyard area known as Rioja Alavesa. 100% Tempranillo which gives a bright red colour and berry fruits on the nose complete with a long lasting finish.
Alavesa is the smallest of the three sub-regions of Rioja. It’s closest to San Sebastian and the French border. Along with Rioja Alta, Alavesa is known for better quality wines, particularly given cooler temperatures here which gives freshness in the wines, compared to some of the headier, richer Riojas. Tempranillo is the main red grape, but Garnacha (Grenache) can be blended with it, and other varieties such as Graciano and Mazuelo (known as Carignan in France). Lalo Anton manages the business, and makes wine in Ribera del Duero, Toro and Rueda too. It’s fairly full bodied with some tannin to give structure and means this wine is a great food match with stews, protein dishes and red meats. 14% ABV.