REGION: Sicily, Italy
VARIETIES: Nero d'Avola
When phylloxera started killing off France's grapevines in the late 19th Century, many famous wine houses made their way over to Rioja to escape the pest. Of course, phylloxera eventually crossed the Pyrenees too, but not before the winemakers had discovered some serious wines could be made here. Roda is frankly the best example of why Rioja still has a cachet about it: both traditional and old-fashioned in their approach to looking after the vines, and modern in their handling of flavours and oak. This is quite simply one of the best Riojas you'll ever taste.