Spain located on the Iberian Peninsula, has over 2.9 million acres planted—making it the most widely planted wine producing nation but it is the third largest producer of wine in the world, the largest being France followed by Italy. This is due, in part, to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry, infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. The country has an abundance of native grape varieties, with over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain though 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20 grapes—including the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell; the whites Albariño from Galicia, Palomino, Airen, and Macabeo; and the three cava grapes Parellada, Xarel·lo, and Macabeo. Major Spanish wine regions include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero which are known for their Tempranillo production; Valdepeñas, drunk by Unamuno and Hemingway, known for high quality tempranillo at low prices; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas in the northwest region of Galicia that is known for its white wines made from Albariño and Catalonia which includes the Cava and still wine producing regions of the Penedès as well the Priorat region. Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. The system shares many similarities with the hierarchical Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system of France, Portugal's Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and Italy's Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system.
- Item #: i_382649Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The single vineyard Tempranillo is the 2012 Pago Negralada, a plot at 760 meters altitude on deep gravel soils covered with sand; it is a relatively warm soil that provides good homogeneous ripeness of the grapes, vintage after vintage. As with all of the single vineyards, it fermented with indigenous yeasts and went through malolactic fermentation in brad new French oak barrels, where it had an upbringing of 18 months before bottling after a clarification with egg whites. I found the character of orange peel that I frequently saw in the Ribera del Duero reds in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with some rusticity and a little dustiness, with character. There are fine-grained tannins, good balance and a dusty texture that fills your mouth. It has very good balance and it will age nicely. 5,700 bottles, 275 magnums and 18 double magnums were filled from the 22 barrels in one single lot on June 17th 2014."
Abadia Retuerta is part of the prestigious 'Golden Mile' (La Milla de Oro) of wineries located along the Duero River in the autonomous community of Castilla y Leon. La Milla de Oro has a special microclimate and is home to some of Spain's most renowned wineries including Vega Sicilia, Dominio de Pingus and Bodegas Mauro.
- Item #: i_350125Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96eROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS: "The 2006 La Vina de Andres Romeo is sourced from a single vineyard. Opaque purple-colored, the wine’s legs ooze slowly down the glass. Aromas of smoke, cedar, pencil lead, underbrush, and blackberry are enticing leading to a tightly wound, dense, powerful Rioja that will evolve for another 8-10 years and provide a drinking window extending from 2018 to 2030."
- Item #: i_382032Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93PRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The eponymous 2016 Mauro is mostly Tempranillo (or Tinto Fino) with some Syrah from 80 hectares of different vineyards, mostly in the villages of Tudela de Duero, Traspinedo and Santibañez. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French and American oak barrels and foudres for 15 months. 2016 is a cooler, more Atlantic and more drinkable vintage with contained ripeness, fine tannins and nice balance."
Incisive fruitiness, concentrated, creamy and packed with aromas. Opulent, full-bodied and precise on the palate with energy, vitality, balanced acidity, and juicy tannins.
- Item #: i_381888Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 90WINERY NOTES - "Intense cherry red color. Remarkable aromatic complexity with notes of black fruit, light balsamic and toasted touches that remind of BBQ and a vanilla chocolate cake. Cherry cola, lavender, bright red and black preserves in the mouth, full bodied with rich complexity."
JAMES SUCKLING 90 POINTS - "Light and crisp, but also full of character with some nice red-cherry aromas that pull you back for more and, with each sip, the wine seems to expand a bit more. "
- Item #: i_376881Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95PRACTICING BIODYNAMIC & ORGANICALLY FARMED
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS -"The village wine 2016 Corullón (which might carry the new category "Vino de Villa" for the 2017 vintage if it's approved by the EU soon enough) was hitting on all cylinders when I tasted it. It had a very clean nose, elegant, insinuating, ethereal, perfumed and subtle, without a trace of excess in any direction. It took time to unfurl its notes of violets, wild herbs and spices. The palate had terrific balance, very refined tannins and subtle, integrated acidity with subdued minerality and a long, dry and almost salty finish. This has to be among the best years for Corullón. There are 20,355 bottles and some larger (and smaller) formats. It was bottled in June 2018."
- Item #: i_380113Bottle Size: 750MLPRACTICING BIODYNAMIC & ORGANICALLY FARMED
We are so excited that another dynamite vintage of Petalos has just arrived. Think burgundy with a hint of Northern Rhone syrah.
During the late 1980's, Alvaro Palacios traveled his native Spain selling French barriques to winemakers. But his journeys had a second purpose: to find the best place to achieve his goal of making Spain's greatest wines. Alvaro wanted-incredibly steep hillside vineyards, distinctive terroirs and, most importantly, ancient vineyards of Mencia—a unique red grape believed to be brought by French pilgrims during the Middle Ages. Meanwhile, his nephew Ricardo Perez had finished enological studies in Bordeaux and was traveling across France-absorbing everything he could about great wines. He worked the harvest at Chateau Margaux, and did internships at other Bordelais firms like Moueix (Petrus, Trotanoy, etc.). He also visited Alvaro frequently and came to share a belief in Bierzo's potential. In 1998, the two decided on a joint venture and set out in search of the region's finest old vineyards. Alvaro and Ricardo found promising sites in a number of villages but shortly came to believe that the greatest potential lay in a little town on Bierzo's western border named Corullon. Old vineyards lined the precipitous hillsides there, and the local soils were extremely poor-composed mostly of schist-but with incredible diversity. The minute variations in soils and exposures across this zone immediately reminded the two of Burgundy's Cote d'Or, or Piedmont's Langhe hills. In Corullon, Alvaro and Ricardo believe they have found a unique combination of soils, old vines, and a distinctive variety that will yield their own grands crus.
This beautiful wine is delicate with highly suggestive floral aromas displaying violets and dried roses along with hints of black fruit and roasted coffee. With it's Pinot Noir-like quality, it's medium body and velvety texture evokes notions of ripe black fruit on the palate and mineral undertones. Tannins are soft and well integrated, good acidity and a kiss of smokiness on the finish.
- Item #: i_376575Bottle Size: 750mlPRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
This winery, founded in 1973, is currently run by Gerardo Mendez. Gerardo owns 5 hectares. Three hectares are over 50 years old and one is 200 years old. The vineyards follow organic guidelines avoiding the use of pesticides and non-organic fertilizers. Utilizing the latest technology, Gerardo blends the traditional with the modern to produce lively, crisp wines true to their origin. There are two wines produced at the property. The first Albariño Do Ferreiro and the second, produced in very in very limited quantities is Ferreiro Cepas Vellas. The Cepas Vellas is from the vineyard that is 200 years old. These vines are planted on a hillside vineyard of mainly sandy composition that predates any other vineyards in Rias Baixas. The Albariño Do Ferreiro is also from a hillside vineyard greatly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean climate.
- Item #: i_382688Bottle Size: 750mlAn intense and complex nose of ripe fruits, lime, fennel and mint. The apple, melon and peach fruit flavors carry on giving power to the wine which is deftly balance by brisk herbal notes and hints of mineral from the slate soils. A wine that really evolves in the glass and lingers with you, very adaptable for a wide array of dishes.
- Item #: i_373831Bottle Size: 750mlA winner from year to year, this is one of the most popular value wines in the world!
"Deep purple/black color. Explosive aromas of ripe currant, red berries and smoked notes. Rich, powerful and voluminous on the attack, a huge mouthful of crème-de-cassis concentration, silken and juicy in the mid-palate with excellent length and persistence, and a long spicy well-balanced finish including toasted notes provided by the French wood." Winemaker notes
- Item #: i_380850Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96+James Suckling: 98JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "Fresh blueberries and brambleberries take center stage, which is striking for a wine of this age. There are also lots of roasted herbs, such as sage, not to mention floral elements, including lavender and dried violets. Then come cedar, sandalwood and tar. The tannins are incredibly round and soft, without the slightest hint of anything dry. This is among the most elegant of Riojas, where the acidity is wonderfully pronounced and cuts right through any touch of dried fruit. Long and powerful, yet subtle on the finish. Drink now, or hold for a very long time."
WINE ADVOCATE 96+ POINTS - "It seems like yesterday when the superb 2001 was released, and now I already have the 2010 Gran Reserva 904 in my glass. It has to be among the greatest modern time vintages of this mythical bottling, where they aim for a wine that has a long aging potential. This is mostly Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 13.5% alcohol, and it matured in fourth-used American oak barrels for four years, during which time the wine was racked every six months. It has the combination of elegance and power only the best vintages are capable of, with the classical aromas, great detail and nuance, very good balance and persistence. They consider 2010 among the best years of this century, and maybe future generations will talk about 2010 like we talk about the great classical vintages of yesterday today. The palate is polished but shows plenty of energy and tension, the tannins are very fine and elegant, and the flavors are focused and clean. This has to be one of the greatest wines from the vintage. A legend in the making. "
- Item #: i_380462Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The wine that used to be the top of the range until the old-vine, single-vineyard Cariñena was released is the 2013 Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles. It is a phenomenal blend of 55% Cariñena and 45% Garnacha from very old vines planted on schist (llicorella) slopes in the village of Poboleda. Dark, almost opaque with a bright border, the nose is more about black fruit, peat, graphite and some shoe polish, with a generous dose of oak, a little raw (from youth) but with harmony and huge potential to develop. The bunches are hand-harvested and the grapes selected one by one in a double sorting table and fermented in stainless steel. The wine matured in new French oak barriques for 16 months, in a straightforward process, because what's important here is the quality of the grapes, mostly from centenary vines. There is great harmony in the palate, too, intense and penetrating without being aggressive, elegant and balanced in an XXL way. I see great freshness in these 2013s, one of the best vintages I've tried from Mas Doix. This should age forever. 5,500 bottles were filled in April 2015."
Mas Doix has a story quite common in Priorat in which professional people living in the big cities return to reclaim the family heritage (and are having more fun than they ever did before). Mas Doix’s flagship cuvee is named DOIX Costers Vinyes Velles with an annual production of only 4-7,000 bottles. It is typically a blend of old-vine Garnacha and Carinena (80-108 years of age) with the proportions varying slightly from year to year. The wine is aged in 100% new French oak for 14-18 months.
- Item #: i_378458Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "This red is dense and polished. Muted flavors of plum, fig pudding, loamy earth and toast mingle over solid tannins and balsamic acidity. Reserved but balanced and harmonious. Drink now through 2028."
- Item #: i_378455Bottle Size: EACHWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2009 Pago de Carrovejas El Anajon de la Cuesta de las Liebres (to give it its full name), is Tinto Fino blended with 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot and raised for 12 months in French oak, has a much better, more refined bouquet with blackberry and raspberry fruit, a suggestion of wild heather and cedar. The palate is full-bodied with good backbone and structure, while the crisp acidity keeps the graphite-tinged finish agile and focused. This is very impressive. Drink now-2017."
STEPHEN TANZER 93 POINTS - "Glass-staining ruby. Explosive, smoke- and spice-accented dark berry compote and floral scents are complicated by notes of spicecake and vanilla. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and cherry-cola flavors and a refreshing touch of blood orange. Rich but energetic, with superb finishing clarity, slow-building tannins and lingering sweetness".
Founded in 1988 in Penafiel, Pago de Carraovejas was founded by Jose Maria Ruiz. The former restaurateur released his inaugural vintage in 1993 (the 1991) and they have not looked back since. The wines comes from a single 140 hectare vineyard planted with 75% Tinto Fino and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and the wines are raised in a mixture of American and French oak, a judicious one-third renewed each year. These wines have a lot to offer: well-crafted and full of personality, the judicious use of Bordeaux varieties adds a little je ne sais quoi to the blend. These are well worth seeking out.
- Item #: i_378999Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2010 Reserva, Tempranillo (97%), Cabernet Sauvignon (2%) and Merlot (1%), aged for one year in barrel. It is a sleek wine displaying a combination of fruit, flowers, spices and hints of bouquet starting to develop in bottle, with earthy tones and mineral sensations. The palate is smooth and clean, with polished, fine-grained tannins and good balance. I don-t usually see a big difference in quality between Crianza and Reserva. Drink now-2019."
- Item #: i_381499Bottle Size: 750mlThe Bodegas Perez Pascuas winery is an exciting new discovery for us at Hi-Time. When we tasted the wines crafted by three brothers using estate grown Tempranillo grapes in Ribera del Duero, we were blown away! Their vineyard is located near the iconic Vega Sicilia winery and boasts head-trained vines grown at high altitude in soils composed of chalk and clay. The wines are aged in French oak barrels, lending additional complexity and texture. What sets these wines apart is their beautiful balance and finesse combined with purity of fruit. The “El Pedrosal” bottling over-delivers for the price point with delicious, fresh fruit while “La Navilla” is a single vineyard wine, which displays uncommon grace. When we tasted these wines, we knew we had to bring them into the store to share with you. Enjoy!
- Item #: i_380459Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES & BIODYNAMIC PRACTICES
Rafael Palacios began his wine project in Valdeorras in 2004, purchasing mature vineyards of the indigenous Godello variety from older local growers. His previous experience in the area as a consultant had motivated him to try and recuperate the unique sub-zone of the Bibei Valley in the Municipality of O Bolo - characterized by its granite soils. The extreme topography and the low productivity of the soil had led to the almost complete abandonment of grape production in this tiny but historic county, cultivated traditionally on terraces.
"It is not cheap but I think it can easily hold its own against white burgundies selling at the same price. It had the structure and precision of a particularly fine Puligny-Montrachet but has its own very distinctive mountainous and, I'm afraid, mineral character. As well it might for it was grown on stone rather than soil, to judge from the pictures, on decomposed granite at 620 to 780 m above sea level. Old Godello vines are very rare since the variety had to be nursed back to proliferation as recently as the 1980s, but Palacios claims that the vines that provide this stunning wine are between 35 and 92 years old." JANCIS ROBINSON
- Item #: i_379992Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "I returned to the 2016 La Montesa once it had been in bottle for almost eight months. It has all the rosemary, thyme and aromatic plants in the Monte Yerga in Alfaro. It has a note of incense. It's super juicy Garnacha with citrus freshness. It's incredible to have this quality at this price and almost unbelievable that they produced 690,000 bottles of it. A steal!"
- Item #: i_380633Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 1994 Gran Reserva Especial (from a great vintage) is medium ruby colored with a lovely bouquet of cherry blossom, earth notes, spice box, leather, black cherry, and plum. On the palate it is multifaceted, elegant, concentrated, impeccably balanced, and holding strong. It should drink nicely for another 10-15 years if not longer."
- Item #: i_377427Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "2008 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."