Since joining Molloy’s some 20 years ago, I have had the privilege of visiting most of the world’s great vineyards. I find it difficult to single out a favourite wine as there are so many diverse red and white styles, but I really like Champagne, sweet and fortified wines. As for a Manzanilla sherry, with its wonderful, dry, salty tang, I consider it to be a most refreshing aperitif. On a cold and frosty evening I adore a port, especially a 20 year old Tawny. Also, when I attend tastings, I immediately see the place of origin of all these excellent wines in my mind’s eye.
However, when I must answer the question: “what is your favourite wine?” I always end up with a good Rioja, as it was the first red wine I was introduced to. Many renowned bodegas produce appealing Rioja, from the fruity and youthful jovens to the elegant crianzas and the structured reservas to the aged gran reserves, but those that stand out for me are the wines from Marqués de Murrieta, particularly the Reserva that shows the wonderful style of Tempranillo. It has a fine silky texture with delicate strawberry, dark fruit and vanilla-sweet oak flavours. For a really special treat, the Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especiales is the crème de la crème. Made only in the best vintage years, with long ageing in barrel, it is a classic Rioja, with layers of ripe fruit and oaky tones that go on forever!
But, it is not only the wine that I savour, but also the beautiful Riojan landscape with the magnificent Cantabrian Mountains as a backdrop. Viva España!