A magnificent visit to Roda on the 8th October, 2017. A special day for me as Roda has established itself as a real favourite of mine, especially as I am able to drink wines from 2005 onwards now. A tour of the vineyards, all nearby to the Rioja town of Haro (where we spent four nights) the Roda vineyards are a little higher, cooler and older the most in Rioja. Soils are mainly sandstone with varying amounts of clay. I believe the sandstone helps to produce the beautiful perfume in the wines. It is very dry in Rioja in 2017 and the naturally growing herbs are everywhere in the vineyards but very dried out. You pluck up various herbs and try to identify them: mustard, curry, thyme, lavender, rosemary, juniper – it’s pretty hard. The youngest vines go into “Sela” – now at least 20 years old. A polished and nicely rounded wine, Sela shows bright red cherry fruit with a slightly darker core. Here is where the complexity of the wine comes through, showing briar and undergrowth with pleasantly savoury rippling tannins and good acidity to close. Sela is approximately 93% Tempranillo with 5% Graciano & 2% Granacha. Beautiful balance and quite a bargain for this quality. – Ian Cook, FWC.