Country: Spain Region: Rioja
Vintage: 2017 Colour: Rose Style: Dry
Producer: Ramon Bilbao
Jancis Robinson Said of Lalomba:
‘when I saw a new Rioja rosé packaged in a fancy bottle, described as 'Provençal in style' and costing €26, my cynicism antennae started waggling like deely boppers on a rampaging toddler. Mercifully, my fears were assuaged as soon as I tasted the first vintage of Ramón Bilbao's Lalomba Rosado, for it is not only a Jolly Delicious Wine but a rosé of serious complexity too’
‘What I particularly liked about it was how it combined the delicacy of good Provence rosé with a set of flavours that seemed authentically Riojan. There is a creaminess and ripeness to the fruit that evokes good young Rioja, but with better clarity and persistence. The acidic structure is softer than most Provence pinks, but it manages to pull off the same feat of having subtle yet very intense flavour characteristics.
It's an audacious move to launch a new rosé at €26 per bottle, but this wine is worth the money, I think. It is sophisticated, authentic and full of flavour. I tasted it with a few friends alongside a couple of Provence rosés at a similar price, and the Lalomba was unanimously preferred. There may even be a few years of ageing potential in this bottle, sealed with a trendy glass Vinolok, so I scored it 17+ to indicate that it could well improve over the coming months. This isn't simply a rosé for casual enjoyment on sunny days - though it could be - but I think it deserves to be taken as seriously as any white or red at the same price’
I first encountered this on a foggy February day in Rioja - about as far away from rosé weather as you can get. And yet the wine's intricacy, finesse and balance impressed so much that, despite the less than conducive conditions, it struck me as possibly the finest rosé I had ever tasted. Somehow combining feather touch delicacy with enormous personality, it displays delicious juicy blush pear fruit, tempered by savoury bay leaf aromas, electric-bright acidity and a genuine impression of 'minerality'. Bone dry, yet with fabulous flavour intensity and sustain, this is a masterpiece. Bravo!