Cosme y Palacio 1990 Rioja, pounds 4.95, Oddbins. A total contrast in style, this defiantly Spanish, old-gold, old-fashioned rioja is powerfully butterscotchy with a sherry-ish whiff and fine, underlying, oaky fruit; good as an aperitif or with food.
Vina Herminia Lagunilla Reserva 1985, Rioja, pounds 5.99, Sainsbury's. Garnet-hued, smoky, mature rioja with a soft, strawberryish fruitiness that recalls, surprisingly perhaps, red burgundy.
Las Campanas Crianza 1989, Navarra, pounds 3.69, Oddbins. Good value rioja-like fruit with a hint of vanilla and crisp, strawberry jam fruitiness.
Vina Ardanza 1985 Rioja Reserva, pounds 9.95, Safeway. This fine rioja, which won a gold medal at last year's International Wine Challenge, is on special offer at Safeway during April. Buy two and you will get one bottle of this first class, seductively fruity, mature rioja free.
Tinto Pesquera 1989, pounds 9.99, Oddbins. Pesquera shot to fame when the American wine critic, Robert Parker, described it as 'the Petrus of Spain'. The fruit is rich and fleshy with a mulberry-like intensity of flavour that is supported by a firm tannic backbone.