This is a major example of not only how good a family winery can be but how balance may be achieved in Rioja wines as all its offerings achieve a very happy combination of primary fruit flavours and bright vanilla overtones happily coexisting.

Founded in 1918, and with vineyards of their own, it was only in the early 1980s that the two Antonios – father and son - decided they should actually bottle and sell their own wines; as prior to this they were sold entirely in bulk to other wineries.

This was all very well, but, having worked like Trojans vinifying their grapes every year, they finally decided that they were actually quite bored for most of the year and in this were encouraged by Hubrecht Duijker, whose Rioja book of 1985 is still the best single work on the region.

The rest is history, as they say, although most curiously, in Spain itself Navajas is not at all well known, supplying a series of rather special clients such as the Spanish Navy, Seville town hall, and at one time Barcelona FC.

Their reds are primarily Tempranillo (approx 80%) with a little Mazuelo and a all proportion of white Viura, which is a useful ‘fixer’; and are characterised by vivid red plum and cherry flavours and clean, tangy oak – thanks to the high toast white Virginia oak that they buy exclusively from family coopers Murúa up in Logroño; and the only ‘trad’ style that they make is their Gran Reserva.