Volume and elegance in Rioja by Ramon Francàs. In 1950, a 1.8-hectare vineyard plot called Vareia near the González Byass Beronia winery in Ollauri (Rioja Alta), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, was planted with tempranillo grapes, with little pockets of white varieties. The wine is a pretty colour between ruby red and picota cherry red, of medium-high intensity, with tears that are sightly pigmented and some visible tartrates (crystallisations) and coloured matter. A distinctly floral wine (violets and young peonies over a rose-scented talcum powder background), it also displays notes of vanilla, black and red berries, and a touch of graphite and liquorice. Measured ageing in barrel translates into well-integrated wood, whilst the wine’s 14.5º abv does not detract from its elegance. The finish is fresh with a tinge of menthol that makes it interesting. Beronia claims that the wine is full-bodied and well-structured yet balanced too. It would however benefit from a little more time in bottle. The winery states that it is a Rioja Viñedo Singular made from 100% tempranillo grapes, a wine that “will be remembered, will astonish and is for sharing with friends”. Price: 69.95 euros.