This was light, smooth, fruity, and would be very acceptable at the price, which was low. But we couldn't reconcile ourselves to the label. Valleoscuro Tinto
This was bright and fresh, with plenty of fruit. Nowt wrong wi'it, but there's too much competition at this style-and-price point, and again the presentation is only so-so. Bodegas Otero Reserva
Now this was interesting, with a good proportion of the Prieto Picudo grape giving violet-y, woodlandy character. But we found one we liked even more from this supplier... Bodegas Otero Crianza
Mr Otero has been persuaded, perhaps a little against his instinct, to go the whole hog with the pointy Prieto Picudo grape and make a 100% varietal wine. It's a marvel. The gamble has clearly paid off : a terrific wine from Spain, not a Tempranillo, which really sets itself apart where the smells and tastes are concerned: strawberries, violets and blackberries, and to boot the depths of flavour provided by oak aging. A very palpable Christmas wine, I think, and good value. You can buy it here.
And there was another must-have, dahling, from Bodegas Rejadorada in Toro: Bodegas Rejadorada Roble
This is a big, bold Tempranillo that you can see tasted here by the rambunctious Gary Vaynerchuk. We think it's a very handsome new pin in the Bubble Brothers map of Spain. You can buy it from us - if you're in Ireland - here.