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_381415Bottle Size: 750mlThis amazing Garnacha (Grenache) with the eye-catching label offers so much for so little. The fruit is bright and fresh, the palate is silky smooth, and there is surprising complexity for a wine at this price-point. Enticing flavors of raspberry liqueur, black cherry, licorice, and exotic spices reveal themselves with each sip. Bodegas Ateca Honoro Vera is made by the Gil Family Estates who also make the famed El Nido Clio amongst other top values from Spain. They source grapes from the estate’s 60 year old Garnacha vines in Calatayud, Spain and the results speak for themselves. The quality-to-price ratio for the Honoro Vera Garnacha is off the charts and represents an incredible value in the world of wine. Delicious!
- Item #: i_378155Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92La Tremenda is an incredibly priced wine that conveys great purity of fruit coaxed from the arid soils of Alicante in south-east Spain by Bodegas Enrique Mendoza. This 100% Monastrell is compelling, offering lush fruit flavors with surprising complexity at a ridiculous price. It is made in a forward, crowd pleasing style that is so delicious. Luis Gutierrez of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate states the wine "represents a superb value and a great introduction to the Monastrell from Alicante; the price is hard to believe." We agree, this wine over-delivers with rich, full-bodied depth of flavor that is enviable.
The name "La Tremenda" references the name of the vineyard where the grapes are grown in Alicante near Valencia. The"secret" to this wines success lies in the very low yielding vines, which produce less than a ton of grapes per acre! This results in small, deeply colored Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) grapes with intense aromatics and concentrated fruit flavors. Our customers have previously discovered Spain's Monastrell grape and grabbed cases of wines by Tarima Hill, Juan Gil and Honoro Vera. La Tremenda is cut from the same full-bodied, juicy cloth, but shows perhaps a brighter, red fruit profile.
Previously, wines from this area were shipped to producers from other regions who used the Monastrell to "correct" wines which lacked color, body and flavor. Bodegas Enrique Mendoza was one of the first in the area to bottle their own high-quality single vineyard wines instead of selling it to others. This winery is one of a handful of producers who have formed Grandes Pagos de Espana, an association of Spanish wine producers dedicated to producing very high quality single estate wines. The wines faithfully reflect the soils and climate from which they come, offering an unmistakable personality that can only be drawn from a specific terroir in Spain's best vineyards.
La Tremenda is a satisfying wine which will appeal to those who enjoy wines with body and deep, pure fruit flavors. Best of all, this Monastrell is still under the radar and represents an incredible value.
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The pure Monastrell 2017 La Tremenda always represents great value and showcases the behavior of the grape in the Mediterranean climate and soil from Alicante. The grapes from 25-year-old vines fermented in small stainless steel vats, and the wine matured in French oak barrels for six months. There are notes of fresh fruit, rosemary and thyme, with clean aromas, open and expressive. The palate is juicy and round, and this is an entry-level red that represents the higher volume in the winery. This wine reflects the changes over the last seven or eight years: they do three tries of the harvest, and the first bunches tend to go to this wine. The well-seasoned barrels also go to this wine, and the vinification is much softer. The result is fruit-driven, with just a spicy twist. 2017 seems a lot cooler in the Mediterranean part of Spain than in most of the inland regions like Rioja, Ribera del Duero and so on. This is a bargain Monastrell."
- Item #: i_382842Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMIC
Estate-bottled and Demeter certified bio-dynamic, this modestly-priced (to say the least!) Tempranillo is, quite frankly, one of most astonishing values we’ve encountered in a long time. In fact, with all of the recent buzz for organic and natural wines, demand for bio-dynamic wine is at all all-time high. Luminaries like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Zind-Humbrecht, Domaine Leroy, Huet, Nicolas Joly, and others have helped fuel the prestige of this rare and expensive-to-implement set of organic farming practices, so when we learned about this wine—estate bottled, Demeter certified bio-dynamic, at $9.98 a bottle — we jumped at the opportunity!
Montecastrillo is the entry-level wine from the renowned Ribera del Duero estate, Finca Torremilanos. It is made from their younger vineyards, which are located on the second slope above and nearly two kilometers south of the Duero river at an altitude of 800-900 meters. Soils are deep and composed of limestone, sand and clay in roughly equal proportions along with gravels from the old river bed that are composed of silex and quartz. A beautifully dark purplish-red in color, it shows intense red fruit, licorice, and spice notes. Light-bodied on the palate, fruity, and soft in tannin. Extraordinary wine for $9.98 a bottle, a no-brainer case buy!
Tasting Notes - The nose is fragrant, loaded with red fruits, berries, red currant, balsa wood, light earthy spice. Sweet fruit is reiterated in the palate with raspberry preserves and mixed red berries kept aloft with balanced acidity and light tannins. This is an easy summer sipper, perfect for warm weather and sunny days - great red for the season.
- Item #: i_382478Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY FARMED
100% Monastrell (aka Mourvedre)
From Juan Gil family of wines, the Honoro Vera Monastrell from the warm, dry Mediterranean region of Jumilla exhibits great aromatic complexity, richness and length. Like their other wines, it over-delivers for the price!
- Item #: i_381699Bottle Size: 750mlBorsao's wines have been a corner stone of our Spanish section for years and years. Familiarity sometimes means we don't taste these wines as often as we should. It's true! Just grab a glass of Borsao's $6.98 Vina Borgia Garnacha, it is probably the best wine for the money on the planet. The color is a rich dark purple. Warm spices enveloped in blackberry and blueberry. The richness and spice carries through on the palate as the darker fruit tones showing on the nose are brightened by notes of red cherry and pomegranate. The folks at Borsao own nearly 3 thousand acres in Campo de Borja, roughly three quarters of the appellation. This rocky zone in the foothills of the Pyrenees is one of the original homes of the Garnache grape. There is an old church on the property that has records of Garnache plantings that go back to the 900's...