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Spain Red Wines

Spain Red Wines

Spain Red Wines

Spanish wines shouldn’t be overlooked under any circumstances, as there are plenty of extraordinary wines coming from this country. There are also lots of grape varietals grown all over Spain. Some of the most gorgeous red varieties are the early-harvested Tempranillo, raspberry-flavored Garnacha, Bobal, Monastrell, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot.
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1997 Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita Priorat

Irresistible fruit meets immovable structure. It’srare that such a juicy, ripe fruit-bomb, lush withblackberry and blueberry flavors, is also soconcentrated and well structured, but this richred effortlessly marries power and grace. Abenchmark for the appellation. Drink now through 2010. 300 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSBright ruby. Highly nuanced aromas of blackcurrant, pungent minerals and spicy, toasty oak. Large-scaled yet light on its feet. Terrific fruit carries through to a very long, ripely tannic aftertaste. Kept fresh and lively by a flavor of licorice and very good acidity. A great showing for a vintage with a modest reputation for red wine in Spain. Palacios used more heavily toasted barrels following the rainy harvest of ’97, but eschews charred oak in richer years like ’98.Vinous Media | 92 VM

96
WS
As low as $1,445.00
2008 vega sicilia unico Spain Red

A style on its own, redolent of olive, cacao, sweet spice, truffle. Unique. Smooth velvety texture, showing gradually fine grain and a finish with lots of complexity: cedar wood, curry, pepper, dry berries. A jewel. Drinking Window 2019 - 2058Decanter | 97 DEC2008 was a challenging vintage in Ribera del Duero, a vintage marked by a severe frost on September 24th. The vineyards of Vega Sicilia were saved by some anti-frost burners that really made the difference. Even though, there are only some 70,000 bottles of 2008 Único, a wine that will be released around March 2016 after the 2007, and before they sell 2005 and 2006. It’s a fresher, more mineral version of Vega, and very much Vega in character. It has a certain aroma that I cannot define that I also found in the 2011 Valbuena. The palate is surprisingly polished; the wine is quite accessible from now on, with fine tannins and a subtle thread of acidity going through the core. This is a lighter version of Único, but one style I like very much; it’s a wine that should drink well throughout its life. A triumph for the vintage conditions.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPOpaque ruby. Powerful, expansive aromas of cherry liqueur, cassis, pipe tobacco, incense and pungent flowers show outstanding clarity and pick up a smoky mineral quality with air. Stains the palate with concentrated dark berry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors that are complicated by notes of mocha, cola and Indian spices. Distinctly generous in style but there’s outstanding energy here as well. The gently tannic, dark-fruit-dominated finish emphatically echoes the spice and floral notes and lingers with striking persistence. Production for this bottling was cut by over half in this challenging vintage and the result shows what can happen when severe selection is applied in the vineyard and cellar. Speaking of tough years, the 2002 version of this iconic wine, from a vintage that has been ignored at best and vilified at worst, is drinking beautifully right now. In fact, it appears to have just entered its drinking window: its fruit is still a bit on the youthful side while its tannins have begun to recede. Like this 2008, it’s a textbook example of what great vineyards, diligent farming and serious winemaking can accomplish under difficult circumstances.Vinous Media | 96 VMSavory flavors of tobacco, mineral, smoke and spice frame a core of cherry and pomegranate in this red. Harmonious and graceful, supported by well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity. Has deceptive depth and complexity. Drink now through 2028. 9,800 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

97
JS
As low as $1,039.00
2019 Espectacle del Montsant

It’s always an exciting moment tasting a new vintage of the wine from one of the most beautiful vineyards in Montsant, and the 2019 Espectacle del Montsant didn’t disappoint. It’s always Mediterranean, heady and ripe, decadent and hedonistic. 2019 was a warm and quite classical vintage in the zone, with good ripeness (the wine’s label lists 15.5% alcohol), and the wine is hedonistic, nuanced and complex, with very good acidity, which is one of the characteristics that makes this vintage so complete. Despite everything, the wine is medium to full-bodied and comes through as perfumed and ethereal. They do long macerations and long aging in foudre. 2019 is a very serious vintage for this wine; it’s a little closed and needs time in the glass, and it’s tight and seamless, a little austere for what this wine usually is. This is truly spectacular. 6,500 bottles produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RP

99
RP
As low as $129.00
2020 Casa Castillo Pie Franco

I had tasted the 2020 Pie Franco during its upbringing in barrel and couldn’t wait to taste the bottled version. The wine comes from the ungrafted Monastrell vines planted in 1942 by the current generation’s grandfather on a south-facing slope rich in limestone and gravels. In this dream vintage, they achieved a wine with 14.5% alcohol, a pH of 3.47 and almost five grams of tartaric acid per liter of wine. The wine matured in 500-liter oak barrels for 16 months. There is precision; it’s like laser cut, with symmetry and nuance, and it feels ethereal with lots of inner strength. It has the aromatic herbal notes but they are a lot subtler, and the wine is a lot more elegant and floral. The 2020s are wines of texture, silky, fine and elegant. This is the essence of the Mediterranean. Truly outstanding, world class, the best wine produced in the Mediterranean and the best wine from Casa Castillo ever. I was trying to find reminiscences with previous vintages, and it’s different from 2017 and 2018, maybe a mixture of the two, but overall the 2020s are unique and have a combination of Mediterranean character and freshness more intense than any other previous vintage. José María Vicente told me the only vintage that could be compared a little with the 2020 could be 2010. I’ve seen this wine evolve every year since the initial vintage of 1998 to reach world class. Bravo! 7,800 bottles were filled in February 2022.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RP

100
RP
As low as $569.00
2020 clos i terrasses clos erasmus Spain Red

The still young and primary 2020 Clos Erasmus feels very floral and ethereal (within Priorat and Clos Erasmus); it’s a fresher and lighter expression but without being weak. It’s still a baby that needs to burn the baby fat (there are still some lactic notes from the malolactic in barrel). The wine is always around 3.2 or 3.3 pH and has some 15% to 15.5% alcohol, but the sensation this year is of a much fresher, more balanced and elegant wine. This should make an elegant bottle of mature Priorat with a decade in bottle, and I guess it will be long lived. Glorian mentioned that a small lot that normally goes to Laurel was added to the blend of Erasmus, resulting in a lot of added freshness and a note of orange blossom, which makes sense to me with the floral character of the wines and the extra freshness I perceived. This is really beautiful. It’s a very special vintage of Erasmus that unfurls incredible complexity and tantalizing aromas with time in the glass—blood orange (talk about freshness!), curry and cassis. It has great purity, complexity, elegance and finesse... A very different Clos Erasmus. Bravo! There are some 3,600 bottles. It was bottled in May 2022.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RP

100
RP
As low as $699.00
2020 clos i terrasses laurel Spain Red

2020 was a challenging year that gave them a lot of work in the vineyard, but it it paid off. The 2020 Laurel feels very elegant, balanced and fresh, a little lighter perhaps, with perfectly ripe tannins, a little in line with 2016 or 2013. It might be a little unusual for the house style or perhaps a slight change, as they are gradually going for softer vinifications; you don’t really need to extract in Priorat, because the wines are powerful enough on their own. It’s still extremely young and has a lactic touch (that blows off with a bit of time in the glass); it was only bottled at the end of May 2022, three months before I tasted it. Even if it’s the second wine here, it’s a wine that needs a little bit of time and improves in the bottle. Having said that, the 2020s feel more open, expressive and approachable than the 2019s, which are more tannic and powerful while the 2020s feel a little more Burgundian if you like. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Laurel so far. After some time in the glass, the aromatics of the Syrah (which was perhaps a little more this year, some 12% versus 8% in 2019) made an appearance—violets, smoked bacon. Daphne Glorian told me that everything was easy, that the wine was expressive and open from day one and that the fermentations were smooth. There are some 19,000 bottles of this.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP

96
RP
As low as $67.99

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