THE EXPERT Arabella Woodrow Master of Wine and wine buyer for Forth Wines This is a deep garnet red colour with a pleasant savoury nose that is a bit heavy on the oak. At least it is not soupy like many commercial Riojas. It is spicy and attractive without any great length or gravitas. There is good fruit and acidity, and a pleasant oaky finish, but not the complexity I'd want for £7.99 (though I know Rioja prices have been increasing) It's not a bad glass of wine and will appeal to those fed up with cheap and nasty Riojas. It will probably do well if it gets distribution. Success rating out of 25 ­ 16 THE DESIGNER Matt Thompson Associate director of Blackburn's, a brand packaging designer Shopping for wine can make me quite giddy for all the wrong reasons. When skimming the shelves of this confusingly formulaic category, only the brands that act differently to attract my attention (and my credit card) stop me keeling over altogether! This predictably safe pack hopes to be the one to revive me. However, I'm never going to make eye contact with the chap at the top of its invisible' white label. He would turn in his grave if he knew that the packaging of his 138 year old brand, in endeavouring to compete with New and Old World alike, ignored the most fundamental rule of brand building: GET NOTICED! Success rating out of 25 ­ 8 THE BUYER Adam Marshall Licensed trading controller at Nisa-Today's £7.99 for a Rioja Crianza?! I know Rioja prices have gone a bit mad recently but this is a good £1­£2 over the going rate for Crianza. Perhaps the wine is going to be fantastic. Certainly the nose with its characteristic sweet oak notes promises great things, and the flavour is fairly concentrated with enough fruit to avoid the old Rioja failing of all wood and no flavour. It's a good example of what Rioja is about and at the old price points of around £5 I would not hesitate to recommend it, but £8.00 is too much. While the Faustino name is a strong one, there are better wines at the price. Success rating out of 25 ­ 14 Total score out of 100 ­ 57 {{DRINKS }}