Spain

Spanish Wines


The two most famous Spanish red regions are Rioja and Ribera del Duero - and in both of these the wines are dominated by Tempranillo.


This is where the character of Spanish reds is founded: strawberry-scented Tempranillo, traditionally aged in American oak barrels, which impart a vanilla sweetness (though increasingly now bodegas are employing more French oak barrels, or a mix). We try and find interesting reds beyond Rioja, for example listing wines from Toro, Bierzo and Catalonia. What are the other qualities which make Spanish reds interesting and exciting?


First is the heritage of old vines. As in the south of France, Spain retains large plantings of very old vines, especially the red varieties, Tempranillo, Monastrell (Mourvèdre), Garnacha (Grenache) and Carignan. These deliver concentrated, high quality juice - great raw material.


Second, and less well-known to us here, there is an exciting regionalism. One might be aware of the Catalan or Basque spirit of independence, but on wine labels from Galicia and Valencia too one sees words which are not Castilian Spanish. That regionalism is expressed in the preservation and celebration of local grape varieties, many unique to Spain.


Finally, the reds can offer amazing value. Unsurprisingly the domestic wine market has collapsed since 2008, and we encounter many estates very keen to work us, and open to gentle negotiation.

Spain

  • El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Reserva, 2014

    Product Code: LAH314

    El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Reserva, 2014

    “100% Tempranillo, including some parcels 80-90 years old; in French barrels for 18 months. Pure, lifted red fruit perfume on smart oak. Currently...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Ribera Del Duero
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 15%
    More Info
  • El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Crianza, 2016

    Product Code: LAH416

    El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Crianza, 2016

    “92% Tempranillo from 50-70 year old vines, with Cabernet and Merlot, given fourteen months in French oak. Showy and extrovert, showing intense black...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Ribera Del Duero
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 15%
    More Info
  • Vega del Rayo, Rioja, Vendimia Seleccionada, 2016

    Product Code: VEG216

    Vega del Rayo, Rioja, Vendimia Seleccionada, 2016

    “A blend of about 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo, a cheerful, oaked (American and Russian) Rioja. Clean, raspberry, red and black cherry character,...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium Bodied

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Rioja
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2016

    Product Code: NES116

    Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2016

    “Unoaked example of the joven style from 30+ year old vines which deliver excellent concentration. Very ripe, pulpy and strawberryish, soft and juicy;...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Light Medium Bodied

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Rioja
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Segares, Rioja Crianza, 2012

    Product Code: NES312

    Segares, Rioja Crianza, 2012

    “Excellent pure Tempranillo Rioja, all cooked strawberries and spice, attractively mellow and drinking very well. Now-2020”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium Bodied

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Rioja
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Segares, Rioja Reserva, 2008

    Product Code: NES408

    Segares, Rioja Reserva, 2008

    “The Reserva goes into 40% new French barrels, 60% in older American oak. It’s wonderful to have some really mature Rioja at hand. Very intense, all...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Rioja
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Los Colmillos, Toro, 2011

    Product Code: COL111

    Los Colmillos, Toro, 2011

    “This vineyard (which translates as "The Tusks") is documented as from 1950; but that was because the then owner didn’t want to admit it...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Toro
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 15.5%
    More Info
  • L’Olivera, Naltres, Costers del Segre 2014

    Product Code: OLI813

    L’Olivera, Naltres, Costers del Segre 2014

    “From organically grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Trepat and Touriga Nacional, lightly oaked. Gush of raspberries and blackberries, very ripe and...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Catalonia
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 15%
    More Info
  • MAGNUM El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Roble, 2015

    Product Code: LAH915

    MAGNUM El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Roble, 2015

    “A best-seller here, 95% Tempranillo with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, given precisely 122 days (it says so on the label) in French and American oak...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Ribera Del Duero
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 150cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Tierra Fuerte, Graciano, Méntrida, 2015

    Product Code: TIE115

    Tierra Fuerte, Graciano, Méntrida, 2015

    “Graciano is a high quality grape – described in Jancis Robinson’s monumental Wine Grapes as "fragrant, fresh, potentially powerful and...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Mentrida
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Herència Altés, Garnatxa Negra, Terra Alta, 2015

    Product Code: HER115

    Herència Altés, Garnatxa Negra, Terra Alta, 2015

    “Bright cherry aromas - and a generous cherry and strawberry mouthful, a little wild, with bright acid and some grip. Perfect for cool-weather food -...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium Bodied

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Terra Alta
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14.5%
    More Info
  • MAGNUM, Segares, Rioja Crianza, 2011

    Product Code: NES911

    MAGNUM, Segares, Rioja Crianza, 2011

    “Excellent pure Tempranillo Rioja, all cooked strawberries and spice, attractively mellow and drinking very well. Now-2020”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Rioja
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 1.5l
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Bajel Pirata, Monastrell, Alicante, 2018

    Product Code: PIR118

    Bajel Pirata, Monastrell, Alicante, 2018

    “A simple, smooth, easy-drinking quaffer, strawberry-fruited, with a little substance and a hint of meatiness. …”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium Bodied

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Alicante
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12%
    More Info
  • Finca La Solana, Monastrell (Organic & Vegan), Jumilla, 2018

    Product Code: LUZ118

    Finca La Solana, Monastrell (Organic & Vegan), Jumilla, 2018

    “This is made by Bodegas Luzon in Jumilla. This unoaked, organic red is so bright, juicy and winning, strawberry flavoured but not in the least sweet,...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium Bodied

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Jumilla
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Finca La Solana, Monastrell, Seleccion Especial, 2018

    Product Code: LUZ318

    Finca La Solana, Monastrell, Seleccion Especial, 2018

    “Monastrell given about four months in old barrels, mainly American, giving distinctively Spanish oak accents of coconut, milk chocolate and coffee...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium Bodied

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Jumilla
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Viña Leiriña, Mencía, Ribeiro, 2018

    Product Code: LEJ618

    Viña Leiriña, Mencía, Ribeiro, 2018

    “A light and crunchy unoaked Atlantic red, with a mere 11% of alcohol. The Mencía grape is perhaps better known in Bierzo, but is widely grown in...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Light bodied

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Ribeiro
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 11%
    More Info
  • Finca Tobella, Negre, Priorat, 2018

    Product Code: TOB118

    Finca Tobella, Negre, Priorat, 2018

    “Priorat in Catalonia, with vineyards lying on slate and mica soils (known locally as licorella) on steep hillsides, is one of the great Spanish...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Full Bodied

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Light > Full
    • Origin: Spain
    • Region: Priorat
    • Colour: Red
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14.5%
    More Info

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