Dinner last night with a couple of neighbours who had been impressed to find us written up in Oz Clarke's guide. It seemed only fair to give them a taste of his recommendations. First, though, a sample sent by Miguel Angel Muro of his 2004 Reserva, the inaugural vintage of this wine. Very smooth: as always, Miguel Angel's wines are about texture first. The fruit is soft, slightly overwhelmed by the sweet oak just now but earlier incarnations (the 2001 Seleccionada Vendemmia, for example) suggest this will be a very good Rioja in a couple of years.
Another debut followed, this time it is Xavier Vignon's red vin de table which was called "Debut" until Virgin Wines trademarked the name (so I am told). This could not fail to impress the neighbours. There is so much going on in the wine it is actually very difficult to know where to start (so I won't!). Xavier has just come under the radar of Robert Parker although it is unlikely he will get this wine reviewed as I don't think he sells it in the States.