Standouts of our Spanish Red Wine Tasting

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  • By Kevin Lepisto
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Standouts of our Spanish Red Wine Tasting

It can be argued that Spain offers the finest wine values in the entire world. Where else can you find so many exceptional world-class wines at prices we can all afford?

Spanish wines are still some of the best “bang for the buck” wines in the store. Recently I hosted a Saturday tasting featuring a wide selection of new Spanish wines that surprised many with their quality, value and varied styles.  These are the highlights:

 

2017 Honoro Vera Monastrell, Jumilla, Spain

Fans of big, powerful red wines will love this 100% Mourvedre from Jumilla Spain.  It’s quite a bang for the buck at $8.99.  The wine is full bodied and dense with black fruits, spice and earth.  Given its power, the wine is still smooth and satisfying.

$8.99 per bottle

 

2017 Bodegas Merayo Mencia, Bierzo, Spain

Mencia is a grape grown in Northwestern Spain in the regions of Bierzo,  Ribeiro Sacra and Valdeorras that has caught the attention of wine enthusiasts especially with wines produced from old vine Mencia grapes. Bodegas Merayo has been growing grapes for generations and the average age of their Mencia vines are 60 years old.  This entry level Mencia sees no oak treatment so the beauty of the old vine fruit really shines.  It has the classic berry and floral aromatics and the medium bodied wine is vibrant with dark black cherry and berry fruits.  Good Mencia always has a peppery note in the background to add complexity and freshness.

$12.99 per bottle

 

2016 Bodegas Mureda Tempranillo, La Mancha, Spain

This simple, juicy Tempranillo comes from Organic grapes grown in the largest wine region in the world, La Mancha Spain which is south of Madrid.  This wine region produces a richer, darker style Tempranillo wine with more plum and dark berry flavors than traditional red cherry.  It’s a smooth and fruity wine and a great buy at $8.99 per bottle.

$8.99 per bottle

 

2015 Hazaña ‘Viñas Viejas’ Rioja , Rioja, Spain

This juicy Rioja is another amazing Spanish value wine at this price.   The medium bodied wine is a classic blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Graciano and aged 10 months in French and American oak.  It’s a fairly rich wine with great concentration of dark fruits (plums, black cherries), cocoa powder and a touch of dried herbs.   Pair this smooth wine with roasted or grilled meats.

$13.99 per bottle

 

2018 El Jefe Grande Tempranillo, Castilla y Leon, Spain

 The name ‘El Jefe’ might imply a big bossy wine but that is not the case here. This easy drinking, unoaked, Tempranillo has plenty of bold, ripe fruit, but it’s fresh, vibrant and flexible enough to pair with a wide variety of foods.   It’s classic Tempranillo with red and black cherry fruits and hints of herbs and spice.  It’s simply delicious and crowd pleasing so it’s a good thing it comes in a liter size!

$15.99 per liter bottle

 

2017 Evodia Old Vine Garnacha, Calatayud, Spain

This is another great value wine from Spain and exceptional at this price.  The old vines for Evodia are at some of the highest elevation vineyards in the region at 900 meters which keeps this juicy Grenache vibrant and fresh.  This is a medium bodied, smooth wine with plenty of black cherry and plum flavors with some earthy notes and spice to balance the ripe fruit. 

$9.99 per bottle

 

2017 Conreria d'Scala Dei ‘Escaladei’ Black Slate, Priorat, Spain

 Fans of Priorat wines know that they can be quite pricey so I was astonished to find this generous Priorat at such an incredible value.  Conreria d'Scala Dei is a collaboration project of four Priorat winemakers who wanted to make approachable Priorat wines that still expressed the quality that this special wine region can produce.   Esccalade is a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan that spends 20 months in large French oak.  This rich, smooth wine is dense with red and black cherry and plum fruits with the Priorat black slate soils adding a freshness to balance the ripe fruit.  This is quite an elegant and satisfying wine at this price.

$19.99 per bottle

 

2016 Comando G ‘La Bruja de Rozas’ Garnacha, Vinos de Madrid, Spain

Comando G wines are produced from 60-70 year old Grenache vines at very high elevation in the hills about an hour west of Madrid. This produces unique Grenache wines unlike most Grenache wines found in Spain.  La Bruja de Rozas is a light to medium bodied wine with plenty of ripe red cherry fruit, but it drinks more like a Pinot Noir than your typical full bodied old vine Garnacha.  This is a more complex wine than powerful; flowery yet earthy and elegant yet spicy and rustic all at the same time.  This is a great example of the new direction Spanish wines are taking with the new generation of winemakers.

$24.99 per bottle

 

2016 Emilio Moro Finca Resalso Ribera del Duero, Spain

 Emilio Moro planted his first vineyards back in the 1930’s and the winery is still run by the family today.  They now practice a mix of traditional and modern winemaking while showing great respect for the mix of soils in their vineyards.  Finca Resalso is the name of the first vineyard they planted.  This medium bodied Tempranillo wine is fresh and easy drinking with bright berry fruit and great acidity making it a great wine for food pairing. The wine spends 4 months in used French oak barrels to add structure and texture.  Enjoy this wine with cheese, cured meats, chicken and pork and mildly spiced foods.

$15.99 per bottle

 

2015 Viña Real Crianza Rioja, Spain

Viña Real is Cune’s newer winery located in the Rioja Alavesa region and produces more polished wines than their historical winery in Haro.  The 2015 Crianza is highly aromatic with berry fruits and on the palate it’s the perfect balance of ripe, yet fresh, red cherry fruit, light earthiness and oak spice. The wine is mostly Tempranillo with a little Grenache and Graciano to add depth and acidity.  This vibrant red is purely enjoyable and a great blend of traditional and modern Rioja.

$15.99 per bottle

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