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.

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...

Our Rating

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...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionYecla

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodePUR320

GrapeMonastrell

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Bodegas Borsao, Garnacha, Joven, Campo de Borja, 2018

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Bodegas Borsao, Garnacha, Joven, Campo de Borja, 2018

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

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionCampo de Borja

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBOR318

GrapeGrenache

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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Roble, 2019

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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Roble, 2019

A best-seller here, 95% Tempranillo with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, given precisely 122 days (it...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAH119

GrapeTempranillo

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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....

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAH616

GrapeTempranillo

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Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2018

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Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2018

Light Medium Bodied

Segares, Rioja Tempranillo, 2018

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

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRioja

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeNES118

GrapeTempranillo

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Segares, Rioja Crianza, 2012

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Segares, Rioja Crianza, 2012

Excellent pure Tempranillo Rioja, all cooked strawberries and spice, attractively mellow and...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRioja

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeNES312

GrapeTempranillo

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Tierra Fuerte, Graciano, Méntrida, 2015

Graciano is a high quality grape - described in Jancis Robinson's monumental Wine Grapes as...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionMentrida

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeTIE115

GrapeGraciano

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Bajel Pirata, Monastrell, Alicante, 2020

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Bajel Pirata, Monastrell, Alicante, 2020

A simple, smooth, easy-drinking quaffer, strawberry-fruited, with a little substance and a hint...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionAlicante

ColourRed

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodePIR120

GrapeMonastrell

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

This unoaked, organic red is so bright, juicy and winning, strawberryflavoured but not in the...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionJumilla

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeLUZ118

GrapeMonastrell

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Finca Tobella, Negre, Priorat, 2018

Very deeply coloured, inky; overtly flavoured by the barrels, with expensive, clean, cedary...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionPriorat

ColourRed

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeTOB118

GrapeSyrah, Cabernet Sauvignon & Grenache

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Montetoro, Toro, 5, 2018

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Montetoro, Toro, 5, 2018

Medium bodied

Montetoro, Toro, 5, 2018

A new wine for us, from Bodega Ramon Ramos near Zamora, north-west of Madrid. In Toro the local...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionToro

ColourRed

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeMOT118

GrapeTempranillo

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