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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Apparently, if you send a turnip round the world, it still comes back a turnip, according to a friend of TIM ATKIN's dad. Atkin moves onto talk about Tempranillo as a world-class grape that is 'vastly superior to Merlot, more reliable that Pinot Noir and ages as well as Cabernet'. From a recent Spanish tasting, Atkin says it is Ribera del Duero that stands out, with Rioja not far behind and La Mancha showing enormous potential. His recommendations are: 2004 Castillo La Paz, La Mancha (4.99, Sainsbury's); 2004 Jme Rioja (5.97, Asda); 2003 Valmoro, Toro (8.99, Great Northern Wine); and 2003 Finca Villacreces, Ribera del Duero (21.95, Liberty Wines and Bennetts Fine Wines). Not a turnip among them, he says.