Eduardo Hernáiz is the talented winemaker behind the famous wines of Bodegas La Emperatriz (in the 1890s its wine beat all the major châteaux of Bordeaux). At the same immaculate cellar he makes this richly endowed Rioja Alta Reserva. The vines, all 30 years old, lie at over 450 metres altitude, so the grapes ripen slowly even in the warmest vintages. Eduardo was particularly pleased by the quality of these grapes in 2009, when conditions were “perfect for a balanced ripeness”. Pure Tempranillo, matured for two years in finest American oak, has produced a luscious red with strawberry and cherry aromas, crunchy red fruits and a rich wrap of cocoa, vanilla and spice from its sojourn in oak. Serve in large glasses – it’s drinking well now.