Spanish Red 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.

Peique, Mencia, Bierzo, 2020

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Save £13.80

Peique, Mencia, Bierzo, 2020

Of the 40 hectares of this family run estate 98% of it is dedicated to the grape Mencia. This...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionBierzo

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodePEI220

GrapeMencia

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 Finca Tobella, Priorat, Selección, 2017

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Finca Tobella, Priorat, Selección, 2017

A blockbuster, a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon with a year in oak....

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionPriorat

ColourRed

ABV14.8%

Bottle75cl

CodeTOB317

GrapeCarignan, Grenache & Cabernet Sauvignon

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Finca Tobella, Negre, Priorat, 2020

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Finca Tobella, Negre, Priorat, 2020

From a recently founded estate in Priorat in Catalonia, a great Spanish terroir, on steep...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionPriorat

ColourRed

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeTOB120

GrapeCarignan, Cabernet Sauvignon & Grenache

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La Purisima, Monastrell, Yecla, 2020

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La Purisima, Monastrell, Yecla, 2020

The Purisima co-operative in Yecla in Murcia is the source of our highly popular Consentido...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionYecla

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodePUR120

GrapeMonastrell

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La Purisima, Filarmonia, Yecla, 2020

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La Purisima, Filarmonia, Yecla, 2020

MSM stands for Monastrell, Syrah and Merlot, 34% of the former and 33% of the others. Certified...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionYecla

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodePUR320

GrapeMonastrell

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Bodegas Borsao, Garnacha, Joven, Campo de Borja, 2020

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Bodegas Borsao, Garnacha, Joven, Campo de Borja, 2020

Bodegas Borsao is a big co-operative, marketing wines from over 600 growers whose land...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionCampo de Borja

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBOR320

GrapeGrenache

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El Lagar de Isilla, Paraje Penalobos, Ribera del Duero, 2016

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Decanter
El Lagar de Isilla, Paraje Penalobos, Ribera del Duero, 2016

"Restrained aromas, quite elegant in red-berry fruit with a delicate spicy touch....

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAH616

GrapeTempranillo

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

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

There is a wonderful core of blackcurrant fruit to this wine. Notes of game, spice and wild...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle 75cl

CodeLAH316

GrapeTempranillo

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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Crianza, 2017

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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Crianza, 2017

92% Tempranillo from 50-70 year old vines, with Cabernet and Merlot, given fourteen months in...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAH417

GrapeTempranillo

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Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2019

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Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2019

Light Medium Bodied

Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2019

Situated in Rioja Media, the vineyards lie on a plateau at 520-650 metres between the Ocón and...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRioja

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeNES119

GrapeTempranillo

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Vega del Rayo, Rioja, Vendimia Seleccionada, 2019

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Vega del Rayo, Rioja, Vendimia Seleccionada, 2019

A blend of about 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo, a cheerful, oaked (American and Russian)...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRioja

ColourRed

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeVEG219

GrapeTempranillo

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Segares, Rioja Reserva, 2010

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Segares, Rioja Reserva, 2010

The Reserva goes into 40% new French barrels, 60% in older American oak. It's wonderful to...

Style

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRioja

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeNES410

GrapeTempranillo

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