A Powerful Rioja Better Than Medium-Bodied Shiraz with Barbecued Steak

We had friends round and enjoyed yet another barbecue.  We cooked some Sirloin steak and served it with a Diane Sauce.  Our friends brought a bottle of Namaqua Diamond Coast Reserve Shiraz 2010, a South African red from Tesco.  We also happened to have a bottle of the same wine and opened that too.  It is medium-bodied and described as soft, ripe, with juicy red berry flavours and a hint of spicy oak.   A warm climate Shiraz is usually good with barbecued steak.  In this instance, we thought the wine was OK, but not particularly inspiring.  Something with a little more depth was called for.  We opened a bottle of Antano Rioja Gran Seleccion 2008 also from Tesco. This Spanish red is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha and was more powerful and full-bodied.  The summer berry flavours were far more concentrated and lingered more on the palate. The wine was a much improved match with the steak.

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