Rioja is located in northern Spain, just south of Basque country. It’s Spain’s best-known wine region and is famous for big, oaky reds. It’s also arguably one of Europe’s best value wine regions, alongside the likes of Beaujolais. You won’t find many bottles of Rioja selling for more than $100, wheras prices in Bordeaux and Burgundy stretch into the $1000s. Today’s wine is the Siete Pasos El Figura Rioja 2017, which normaly sells for around $10 a bottle at Dan Murphy’s, though was going for just $7 a bottle at the time of writing.
Siete Pasos produces a range of red and whites from Rioja and across Spain. El Figura is the cheapest of the red offerings and unlike the fancier versions, it isn’t aged in oak. The website reckons it goes alright with fish and chicken, among other things.
This wine is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha ( the Spanish word for Grenache) which is a typical blend for cheaper Rioja reds. Higher end versions are often 100% Tempranillo
As an aside, if you’re ever in northern Spain, I highly recommend a visit to Rioja, it’s a beautiful little region that feels like it’s straight out of
Don Quixote; a dry, nearly barren landscape dotted with walled medieval cities. Somewhat incongruously, it’s also home to some impressive modern day architecture, especially the Marques De Riscal Hotel.
The Review: Siete Pasos El Figura Rioja 2017
The nose is very dusty on opening, like a drought-ridden plain (kinda fitting, given the provenance), so give it some air. After 20 minutes or so in the glass there’s a nice blackcurrant and vanilla thing going on. It’s full-bodied and fruity on the palate, with hardly any tannins to speak of. It’s an easy going kind of wine that’s hard to dislike.