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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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1994 r. lopez heredia vina tondonia gran reserva Spain Red

Extremely intense aromas of dried lemons, apples, limes and chalk. Full body, wonderful depth of fruit and density with bright acidity and a layered and rich palate. Yet remains vivid and fresh. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JS(aged for nine years in American oak barrels and then held in bottle for a minimum of eight years before release) Brilliant red. A highly complex, expansive bouquet evokes cherry liqueur, pipe tobacco, incense, vanilla and woodsmoke, accompanied by hints of five-spice powder and licorice in the background. Sweet, expansive and seamless in texture, offering intense cherry-vanilla, spicecake and rose pastille flavors that deepen slowly as the wine opens up. Fully mature but with plenty of life left in it, this wine finishes impressively long, supple and sweet, displaying discreet tannins, resonating spiciness and suave florality. I reviewed this wine five years ago and am very happy to say that it has improved with additional bottle age.Vinous Media | 95 VM

96
RP
As low as $295.00
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 artadi rioja el pison Spain Red

The 2008 Vina el Pison comes from a single vineyard planted in 1945 on pure limestone. It is the epitome of elegance with a sensual bouquet, a silky texture, already complex flavors, and a lengthy, pure finish. It will offer at least a 20 year lifespan, just long enough for the 2009 to be hitting its stride.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP

97
RP
As low as $265.00
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
2010 r. lopez heredia vina tondonia reserva Spain Red

This is as complex and savory as the rest of the Viña Tondonia wines, but also shows a tad more depth, with a hint of black plum and blue fruit on top of the orange rind, iron, tobacco and earthy spices. Expect some cedar and truffle to develop in the future. Juicy, zesty and tight, with a dusty tannins and bright berry fruit on the medium-to full-bodied palate. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva has all I expect from a Reserva from Tondonia, complexity, elegance and evolution, a developed nose with notes of forest floor and wild berries, herbs and flowers, a touch of iodine, brick dust and very fine, polished tannins. It has the seriousness and elegance of Tondonia. This is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name of the grape) and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo that fermented in the ancient oak vats from when the winery was created 144 years ago and matured in well-seasoned, American oak barrels for six years. It has 13% alcohol, a pH of 3.4 and 6.6 grams of acidity. 260,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2017.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThis elegant red is fine and creamy on the palate, with notes of sun-dried cherry, iron, spiced orange peel, graphite and mocha that slowly unfurl. A bit high-toned on the nose as well as loaded with mineral aromas. Muscular tannins are deftly integrated, while savory dried mint and eucalyptus notes play on the lasting finish. Tempranillo, Garnacho, Graciano and Mazuelo. Drink now through 2030. 12,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

97
JS
As low as $52.99
2016 bodegas ugalde felipe ugalde rioja reserva Spain Red

An ethereal and classic style with tertiary semi-dried plum, strawberry, cedar, mocha and coffee oak aromas and flavours, silky tannins and well-integrated zesty acidity. A magnificent wine that needs spicy lamb chops.Decanter | 97 DEC

97
DEC
As low as $42.99
2017 pingus Spain Red

The brightness and intensity here is fantastic with density and firmness that is most impressive. Squared-off tannins give this classicism and beauty. Full body. Extremely long and powerful. One to watch.James Suckling | 97-98 JSDark, bright-rimmed purple. Powerful red and dark berry preserve and cherry cola scents are complemented by exotic spice, incense and floral oil notes. Sappy and densely packed, offering palate-staining black raspberry, cherry liqueur, violet pastille and spicecake flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. Youthfully chewy tannins build steadily on a strikingly long, penetrating finish that leaves behind smoky mineral and juicy dark berry notes.Vinous Media | 97 VMI also tasted the 2017 Pingus, which had a tough competition with the bottled 2016 and a barrel sample of the 2018 (and the fermenting 2019, but that doesn’t really count). 2017 was a weird vintage for the zone, as the year was marked by one spring frost that decimated the crop and completely changed the balance of the year. In 2007, they put a windmill in one of the plots, and although the plot was not able to escape the frost, it was not as acute as it was in the Flor de Pingus vineyards, where they lost up to 40% of the crop. At the Pingus vineyards, they lost some 25% of the grapes. They started the élevage in used barriques, where they wine matured for 12 months, and then moved the wine to larger barrels so they could extend the aging. There are alternate sensations of ripeness and herbal aromas. You can see a little bit of the tannic style of a concentrated year (1995, 2004, 2014), which is very different from fluid years like 2016 or 1996, with a rustic Ribera character. They saved the vintage with their knowledge of their vineyards, whereas in the past, a vintage like this could have been a disaster. Sometimes wines like this can have an unexpected development in bottle... 5,700 bottles were filled in July 2019.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP

97
VM
As low as $1,199.00
2020 celler del roure safra Spain Red

The fruit for Safrà is grown biodynamically at 600m on sandy soils in Finca Els Corrals, mainly from 20- to 40-year-old Mandó vines harvested before fully mature, with about 15% of Garnacha Tintorera in the blend. Produced by owner Pablo Calatayud and winemaker Javier Revert, the wine was vinified in stainless steel using indigenous yeasts, with one third of the fruit in whole bunches. This was followed by six months’ maturation in earthenware jars. Sarah Jane Evans MW: Earthy, winey aromas – a clear expression of the variety. Refreshing notes of dark plum and cherry, with light citrus. Long, intense finish. An original. Christine Allen: Redcurrant, fresh cherry and high-tone florals on the nose. Lingering spiced fruit and a floral finish. A stunning example of what Valencia can do. Beth Willard: Enticing chalky, creamy milk chocolate and raspberry aromas. Pretty floral character, with rose petal, sweet fruit and ripe tannins. Very fresh and drinkable.Decanter | 95 DECThey consider 2020 Safrà the more balanced vintage to date, with the help of the Arcos structure, which makes it longer and more complex. It’s 70% Mandó and 30% Arcos that fermented in stainless steel vats with 30% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in 2,600-liter tinaja for six months. It has 13% alcohol and a pH of 3.45. It’s juicy, floral, tasty and fresh, with very fine tannins and a long, focused finish. The combination of Mandó and Arcos works quite well; the blend is serious, with structure keeping the brightness. All of these wines are incredible values. 20,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94+ RP

95
DEC
As low as $19.99
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
2020 dominio del aguila picaro del aguila vinas viejas Spain Red

The juicy, velvety and aromatic red 2020 Pícaro del Águila Tinto is fine-boned and quite faithfully represents what they want to express with this cuvée; it’s very tasty and has some chalkiness (perhaps through less ripeness than in years like 2018) with 14% alcohol and mellow acidity. The nose reveals some Côte-Rôtie-like notes of smoked meat and violets. 2020 delivered a good crop of healthy grapes that produced the finest wine to date for this bottling. This is superb, elegant and powerful, with everything in place (seems to be the signature of 2020) and perfectly integrated oak. 71,382 bottles and 1,979 magnums produced. It was bottled in September 2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP

95
RP
As low as $38.99
2020 emilio moro malleolus Spain Red

Dark ruby violet-colored in the glass, this wine has enticing aromas of orange peel, milk chocolate and black raspberry. Plush tannins and bright acidity wake up your mouth to flavors of ripe cherry, cranberry, anise frond and dried lavender.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEA fragrant version, with black licorice and toast accents to the baked cassis and blackberry fruit flavors. Rich and expressive, without being weighty, layering the tang of balsamico acidity and supple tannins with the expressive profile. Reveals a waft of medicinal herbs on the finish. Drink now through 2028. 20,000 cases made, 7,500 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WSDusted oak spices with a mixture of tarry black plums and blue fruit. Anise and minty chocolate, too. Full-bodied on the palate with very tight but creamy tannins and a long, spicy finish. Drinkable now if you decant, but much better in two to three years.James Suckling | 92 JS

97
WE
As low as $47.95
2021 Luna Beberide Mencia Paixar

The vino de paraje from A Serra in Dragonte 2021 Paixar is as good as ever, with the austerity of the slate slopes and the old vines that deliver low yields of concentrated and characterful grapes. It has a moderate 13.5% alcohol and a very fresh sensation on the palate beyond analysis. The vineyards are in the process to obtain organic certification. 6,500 bottles produced. This is one of the most elegant vintages for this wine.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPAs I have mentioned in the past, Paixar is Luna Beberide’s oldest vine cuvée, with these Mencía vines ranging from eighty-five to one hundred years of age! The vineyard is a south-facing hillside of weathered slate and the wine is now raised entirely in one wine casks during its élevage. The 2021 Paixar is a superb wine in the making, delivering a complex aromatic constellation of black raspberries, graphite, pomegranate, tree bark, grilled meats, a gorgeous base of slate minerality, espresso, woodsmoke and a touch of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very elegant on the attack, with a superb core of black fruit, impressive transparency and grip, ripe, fine-grained tannins and impeccable balance on the long, focused and complex finish. This is so well-balanced that it is not hard to drink today, but in reality, this is still a young wine and it is infanticide to even contemplate drinking it now, as there is so much more to unfold here with some extended cellaring. This may well be the finest young wine I have yet tasted from Luna Beberide, and I have been a fan of this fine Bierzo estate for a decade now! (Drink between 2031 - 2075)John Gilman | 95 JGA firm, medium-bodied red, with an herbaceous overtone of Mediterranean scrub and crushed pine accenting flavors of tangy blackberry and black plum as well as mineral and spice undertones. Fragrant on the fresh finish, with lingering floral herb and spice notes. Best from 2025 through 2033. 700 cases made, 175 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

97
RP
As low as $32.99
2021 Raul Perez La Vizcaina La Vitoriana

I love the 2021 La Vizcaína La Vitoriana, where they use the westernmost part of the vineyard with more sand in the soils, mostly north facing. It’s a wine with a floral nose that is aromatic and perfumed, elegant but with clout, with concentration and power. They have been picking earlier and earlier, lowering the alcohol, and they feel more comfortable below 13%; they removed the rusticity and extraction, and the wine is more elegant than ever. It reminds me of the 2018, with similar a profile of freshness. They produced around 5,000 liters from the one+ hectare they have here.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP

97
RP
As low as $42.99
2021 sierra de tolono la dula garnacha de altura Spain Red

This is the fourth vintage of Sandra Bravo’s brilliant old-vine Garnacha from Rivas de Tereso and it’s every bit as good as its predecessors. Aged in 300-litre clay amphoras, it’s wonderfully perfumed and intense, with engaging bramble and red cherry fruit sweetness, tannins and a long, energetic palate. 2023-32Tim Atkin | 96 TA

96
TA
As low as $25.99
2021 Vina Zorzal Malayeto

”This Garnacha is part of Zorzal’s series of terroir-focused wines. Coming from Fitero, a village at the base of the mountains in the south of Navarra that separate the region from La Rioja, the 40-year-old vines are grown at 520m on rocky soils on limestone and clay. The wine is defined by an elegant and precise structure but does not lack any intensity with blackberry fruit, black pepper and a little mint. With just enough tannic grip, it is profound yet full of energy and drive.Tim Atkin | 97 TAA longtime favorite of mine and still a bargain, the 2021 Malayeto is always one of the most elegant and finest wines from Zorzal. It comes from 2.39 hectares of vines that are now 43 years old, planted at 520 meters altitude on limestone-rich soils in the village of Fitero, on the same slope as their Corral de los Altos. It fermented in a combination of stainless steel and concrete and matured in 12 used 500-liter barrels and one 4,000-liter oak foudre for one year. It has 13.45% alcohol and is medium-bodied with great balance, finesse, freshness and acidity. It has good depth and a sense of good ripeness (riper than Corral de los Altos this year!). There is great consistency in this vineyard, and this wine is serious, precise and long. 13,300 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2023.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPMalayeto is Viña Zorzal’s single vineyard bottling of Garnacha, with these vines thirty-five years of age. The wine is fermented with native yeasts and raised for nine months in three hundred liter, used barrels, prior to racking into large foudres for a final two months of élevage. The 2021 Malayeto comes in at fourteen percent alcohol and delivers a lovely aromatic constellation of raspberries, fruitcake, pepper, chalky soil tones, garrigue, a nice touch of meatiness and a gentle topnote of distant bonfire. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and ripely tannic, with fine focus and grip, a good core of red fruit and soil, lovely balance and a long, youthfully complex finish. Unlike the regular bottle of Garnacha from Viña Zorzal, the Malayeto will need some time in the cellar to soften up its tannins a bit before it drinks with generosity. (Drink between 2031 - 2065)John Gilman | 91 JG

97
TA
As low as $19.99

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