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_382032Bottle Size: 750mlPRACTICING ORGANIC & BIODYNAMIC FARMING
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_382574Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Las Gravas suffered in comparison with the ethereal 2017 I tasted next to it. It’s a blend of Monastrell with 15% each Garnacha and Syrah. This is the last year to have any Syrah, which was discontinued in 2017. It has an herbal twist, notes of dry herbs and pine nuts, an earthy touch and some dusty tannins that make me think of the gravelly soils."
- Item #: i_381949Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99WINE ADVOCATE 99 POINTS - A blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah, 2018 Clos Erasmus comes from a year with good yields and enough rain for good ripeness of the grapes. The vines are now 36 years old on average, and the grapes fermented after a cold soak in 1,000-, 1,500- and 2,000-liter oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a five-week maceration. It matured in new and second use Burgundian 228-liter oak barrels, with around 40% new oak. This is a very elegant and perfumed vintage for Clos Erasmus, a wine that reveals a bright ruby color and a exotic nose that mixes flowers with tons of sweet spices. It is still very young and influenced by the élevage in oak, with something herbal and fresh, reminiscent of pine needles. The palate is textured and velvety, lace and dust, with fine-grained tannins that bring back the memories of the slate rocks; it is pure and detailed and has terrible balance, focus, inner strength, filigree and subdued minerality. I'd wait a little bit for the oak to get integrated before pulling the cork. It has the ingredients, stuffing and balance to develop nicely in bottle for a long time. 3,319 bottles and 100 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020."
In a region now filled with big names, Daphne Glorian has been a quiet godmother to the younger generations of winemakers, continuing to promote the good name of Priorat with her exceptional and highly sought-after wines. Her boutique estate of 10 hectares barely produces 140 cases each year, so her first label, Clos Erasmus, is inevitably scarce and expensive. Deservedly so, however, as this is one of the regions' and indeed Spain's greatest of all red wines – rich, powerful, dense and exotically perfumed. Clos Erasmus is also one of the few Spanish wines ever to achieve 100 Parker points, proof that the Priorat region in the right hands produces wines to rival the finest from Rioja and Ribera Del Duero.
- Item #: i_380113Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93+PRACTICING 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.
- 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_373831Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "I also tasted the following vintage, the 2018 Juan Gil (silver label), from a cooler and rainier, more continental vintage than the 2017 I tasted next to it. The origin is the same, Monastrell from their own old, non-irrigated vines fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels for around 12 months. This is the first vintage that is certified organic. There were some challenges, but they resulted in a fresh and balanced wine with integrated oak and a juicy and round palate. They have introduced optical sorting of the grapes, and perhaps that's why there is more precision and purity. They cannot do manual sorting at this price point, but optical sorting seems like a good alternative. 2018 is a more difficult vintage than the 2017, yet this wine is better, juicier and seems to absorb the oak better, with just a smoky touch that reminded me somehow of a Northern Rhône. Really impressive. 312,000 bottles. It was bottled in June 2020."
- Item #: i_380850Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 96JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "Lovely dried red fruit, such as plums with just a hint of prunes. Cedar, walnut and leather undertones. Full-bodied with lots of fruit, considering its age, as well as hints of smoke, tobacco, bark and black tea. Some balsamic at the finish. Traditionally styled with lovely results. Drink or hold."
- Item #: i_380706Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93This wine has evolved perfectly showing a deep ruby color with shades of orange. Its nose is persistent, full bodied and showing a lot of mature fruit, being dominated by the Tempranillo grape. Its taste is round, smooth, fresh, full of body and persistent. Perfect with roasted and highly flavored meats, lamb and game.
- Item #: i_378458Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90JAMES SUCKLING 90 POINTS - "Ripeness and balance to this rich, flavorful red with chewy tannins and a dense, fruity center palate. It’s medium-to full-bodied, polished and focused. Drink in a few years. Try in 2021.
- Item #: i_383629Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 95JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "Lots of ripeness with blackberry, fresh-mushroom, bark and moss undertones. Full-bodied with powerful tannins, yet they have a pretty fruit coating and end with complexity and candidness. Old-vine character."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "It's interesting to compare the 2016 Lindes de Remelluri Viñedos de San Vicente de la Sonsierra with the wine from the same year but from the external suppliers from Labastida, as the two wines are produced in the same way after a natural fermentation in small vats and oak casks and matured in a combination of barriques of different origins and aged for 13 months. The grapes from San Vicente usually achieve more ripeness, which is the case in this 2016. It's a little less precise and focused than the Labastida, especially on the nose. There is a little more rusticity on the palate, with some dusty tannins. Again, I think it represents the character of the village."
- Item #: i_379992Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 La Montesa is mostly Garnacha with some 8% other red varieties and comes from a warm and dry year that saw a very early harvest, up to 20 days earlier than usual. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in barrique for 12 months. It feels very Mediterranean, with notes of Mediterranean herbs and ripe berries. It's juicy and lush, round and very pleasant, easy to drink. 670,000 bottles produced and will be labeled organic, very remarkable for such volume. It was bottled in May 2019."
- 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: 97James Suckling: 99JAMES SUCKLING 99 POINTS -"This is still very tight and closed with so much depth and beauty. The linear line to this is very vertical and draws you down. It shows intense blackberry, dark-chocolate, hazelnut and walnut character. Full body. Chewy yet extremely polished. Precise. Shows decadence. So drinkable already, but better in 2022."
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "I was surprised by the aromatics of the 2010 Único, cropped from a powerful and concentrated year that delivered this blend of 94% Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo) and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 14.5% alcohol and a highish pH of 3.87. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in a combination of French and American oak barrels and 20,000-liter oak vats and aged for almost six years. It feels quite ripe and somehow old style, dominated by ripe black fruit, with a rustic and earthy touch. It has an ample palate, concentrated and powerful, with some earthy tannins." - Luis Gutierrez
- Item #: i_376332Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "To be released in 2020, the NV Único Reserva Especial 2020 Release is a non-vintage blend of 59 barrels from 2008, 2009 and 2010, mostly Tempranillo with some Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has been getting closer to the style of the Único, and the blend is from vintages very close to the current release of Único, but somehow this year I think the blend has added some complexity to the bottled wine, which has the heart and soul of the 2010 vintage. In fact, they told me they are keeping more wine to have some older vintages to blend for this Reserva Especial, because in the last few years, the wine has been a little too young for the style that it used to have in the past. This has finesse and some of the Burgundian style of the blends of yesteryear. 17,071 bottles and 214 magnums produced. It was bottled in June 2016."
- Item #: i_376579Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2015 Vina Santurnia Reserva is a traditionally styled Rioja that spent 2 years in American oak. Predominantly Tempranillo with a bit of Graciano and Mazuelo."
Very classic, traditional styling, with a terrific balance between mouthwatering berry fruit and damp forest floor nuances. Traditional Rioja, with its Burgundian characteristics and slightly plumper fruit profile, works wonders with food.