Lar de Paula labelLar de Paula Rioja, well I had to try it didn't I? This namesake Spanish red is made exclusively from Tempranillo grapes, which is rather unusual. Wine from Alavesa, the smallest of the three Rioja regions, is usually a mix of Tempranillo and Grenache grapes with a bit of acidic Mazuelo and herby smelling Graciano thrown in.

A Rioja wine made totally from Tempranillo grapes will taste more light and fruity than a traditional Riojan blend. The lack of Grenache also means less tannin, which is good news for wine lovers who prefer not to shrivel their gums and for those of us who find waiting half an hour for a wine to 'breathe' into softness really rather tedious.

Tempranillo wines can be opened and drunk straight away without any decanting.

But there is one downside in all this good news.

Tempranillo by itself does not age very well and without the addition of other local grape varieties it will never reach the velvety richness for which aged Rioja blends are renowned.

But if you like your Spanish reds to taste lightly of cherry, with a dash of Bovril and cocoa for added depth, then give the wines from the 'House of Paula' a go.

Here's where you'll find them:

Lar de Paula bottleLar de Paula Rioja Tempranillo Madurado 09

Peter Green, 37 Warrender Park Road, Marchmont, Edinburgh


Noel Young Wines, 56 High Street, Trumpington, Cambridge


• Old Butchers Wine Cellar, High Street, Cookham Tel 01682 643510


Steep Hill Wines, 25 Steep Hill, Lincoln


Flourish and Prosper, 64 Bridgegate, Howden, East Yorkshire


Lar de Paula Rioja Joven 2008

Corney and Barrow


labelLar de Paula Rioja 'Anada' Cepas Viejas Tempranillo 2005

Noel Young Wines, 56 High Street, Trumpington, Cambridge


This article has appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on Mature Times