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_377848Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Impressive, rich, dark-cherry and blackberry aromas with nicely cut oak influence. The palate has a sleek, smooth-honed feel with such impressive freshness and depth. Stunning, vibrant finish. 100% tempranillo from several plots around Laguardia. Drink or hold."
Located in the heart of Álava (in the Rioja Alavesa region), Artadi owns 83 hectares of vineyards planted in soils with a wide geological diversity. Clay, gravel and limestone primarily compose this particular balance of nutrient-poor soils with varying microclimates. These unique vineyard sites give singularity to the wines, whose most notable qualities are transparency of fruit and finesse of tannins.
This is Artadi’s entry-level ‘village wine’ of the village of Laguardia, made from twenty-to-thirty year-old selected vineyards located in the plots of San Martín, Las Ventas, Paulejas, San Julián, Santa Águeda, Castejones, Majadales, Ribaltayo Viejo
- Item #: i_383451Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
"Intense aromas of forest fruits, strawberries, raspberries and blackberry jam. In addition, there are balsamic overtones of eucalyptus and mint. On the palate, a freshness and pleasant, subtle tannins, with pleasingly-integrated notes of coconut and vanilla." - WINERY NOTES
"This project was created in 1987 by a couple of oenologists with deep roots in the business: jerezano Eduardo Gómez Palma and riojana María Isabel Bernardo Córdoba de Samaniego. They discovered in La Puebla de Labarca “our own special place, a magical land that offered us everything we needed to create the wines we had imagined”. Their old vines, planted in the banks of the Ebro river, thrive thanks to the sheltering effect of the Sierra Cantabria and to their perfect southwards orientation. Since their very beginning, María Isabel and Eduardo strived to bring to La Rioja Alavesa the innovative techniques they learned while studying abroad, in a time when the labels Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva had lost most of its original sense. Their obsession for quality and innovation is showcased in their recent “Belezos Ecológico”, a great representation of the powerful Rioja Alavesa terroir, made with organic grapes." - ANTALVA IMPORTS
- Item #: i_381381Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 90Wine Enthusiast: 90 PointsWINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Black cherry, red plum, licorice and smoke flavors mingle in this round red. Shows good density, while orange peel acidity and light tannins keep this focused. Drink now through 2028. 375,000 cases made, 10,000 cases imported."
WINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS - "Berry, spice and tobacco aromas work in unison to give this Crianza a nice start. A firm palate avoids jamminess and shows grip. Dark plum, raspberry, spice and pepper flavors hold on through the finish. For everyday Rioja, there isn't much better than this."
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The red 2016 Cune Crianza is an affordable and classical blend of Tempranillo with some 15% Garnacha and Mazuelo that is easy to drink and understand, with a soft palate and an approachable profile. It has a bright nose with red fruit rather than black, quite aromatic and expressive. The palate is soft and approachable, very easy to drink, with a touch of freshness. They produced a whopping 4.5 million bottles of this! The bottle I tasted was bottled in April 2019 after 12 months in barrique. There are eight different lots of this wine that are bottled throughout the year, for which they try to make the most homogeneous blend possible, but some variation is inevitable. But the overall quality of this year is certainly higher than the previous one."
In Rioja, wines are labeled according to the amount of time spent aging in oak. A wine designated as Crianza must be aged in oak for a minimum of a year while the Reserva and Gran Reservas require more extensive aging. As you probably know from previous emails, Cune is one of our favorite producers from Rioja and consistently over-delivers. The name Cune is actually an acronym for Compania Vinicola del Norte del Espana (the Northern Spanish Wine Company). It was founded in 1879 in the famed Rioja Alta region and the winery is still run by descendants of the founding family. Since its inception, Cune has been focused on the production and aging of wines based on Spain's great noble grape.
- Item #: i_380671Bottle Size: 750MLMade from Viura grapes, this wine exhibits citrus and floral aromas. Great mouth-feel enhanced by citrus and mango flavors with a long, fresh finish. The balanced acidity coupled with its other characteristics makes this an ideal sipper as well as a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes.
All grapes come from the 'Rioja Alta' subzone, where higher altitudes and Atlantic influences make for a moderate climate which is ideal for producing wines of elegance and finesse. Soils are composed of iron-rich clay and limestone. This wine is aged in tank and bottled in January to preserve freshness and fruit.
La Rioja is blessed with the perfect conditions for excellent vineyards. Its soil and climate are favorable for growing vitis vinifera, and its wine culture runs deep and wide. There are good reasons why this land enjoys international recognition for its outstanding wines. Cune, with its three wineries and the many international prizes earned by its wines, has also contributed to making Rioja the global benchmark it is today.
Cune`s Viña Real winery is located on top of the Cerro de la Mesa, in Rioja Alavesa, an area celebrated for its fruit-forward wines, a land with a soil that supports the best native red wine grape varieties and that enjoys an optimum mesoclimate. Most vines here grow from the highlands of the Sierra de Cantabria down to the Ebro River on southern-facing slopes the calcareous sediment of the hills makes the soil ideal. Rioja Alavesa was one of Spain`s pioneering regions in the barrel-aging of wines, and Viña Real was one of the first to make crianza wines in this area.
Cune has been a long time staff and customer favorite from Rioja. Over the years we have had the privilege of tasting their Gran Reservas as far back as the 50’s. Our reactions are always the same, we ooh and awe, treasuring every sip.
- Item #: i_383197Bottle Size: 750ml100% Tempranillo
This is another well-made youthful Rioja from higher-altitude vineyards in a very good vintage. It has a juicy, medium-bodied palate with subtle, good quality oak coming through as a hint of vanilla and a clean, fresh finish that is lightly warming with a touch of lingering ripe fruit skins.
- Item #: i_380785Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2015 is La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto is a lively, medium depth, garnet–red color with an intense pink rim. High aromatic intensity with dominating ripe fruit: raspberries, red cherries, wild strawberries and red currants set out against a balsamic background of vanilla, toasted caramel, biscuits, coffee and sweet mints. In the mouth, you can enjoy good acidity, great freshness and balance and mild, friendly tannins. Aromatic harmony persists through the aftertaste, with notes of red fruit jam, prunes, coffee, vanilla and caramel.
- Item #: i_380595Bottle Size: 750MLTIM ATKIN 93 POINTS - "Mixing fruit from the various villages in the Rioja Alta with 15% fruit from Laguardia and Lanciego, this stylish, Tempranillo-dominated Reserva is made to a commendably consistent quality. Aged in French oak, it's dense, concentrated yet refreshing with bramble, black cherry and nutmeg flavors and fresh acidity."
- Item #: i_378000Bottle Size: 750ml93% Tempranillo & 7% Graciano
Winemaker's Notes: "Very expressive aromas on the nose with notes of liquorice, cinnamon and black pepper, with just a subtle hint of the long cask-ageing, thanks to its great complexity and ripe, concentrated fruit. Fresh and easy to drink on the palate, good backbone and lovely, polished tannins. The long, persistent finish leaves gentle balsamic reminders of the finest quality."
Aged 2 years in American oak.
This wine goes well with ham, mild cheeses, casseroles which are not highly spiced, bean and pulse dishes, poultry, red meat, grills and roasts.
- Item #: i_382603Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 90 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS #1 BEST BUYS 2020 - "Fresh berry and red plum aromas are lifted by complementary notes of oak grain and vanilla. This value-priced crianza from a very good year feels flush but primed by punchy acidity. Red plum, berry and a hint of wood spice make for a classic Rioja flavor profile, while this remains tasty and fresh on the finish. Evaton, Inc.
- Item #: i_381441Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A beautiful rosé as always with a pink salmon color. It opens with rose petals, pink guava, grapefruit, mandarins and freshly squeezed nectarines. Medium-bodied and very salty on the palate. Lithe and oily texture, but a sharp acid backbone. Macabeo, grenache and tempranillo. Drink now."
- Item #: i_377350Bottle Size: 750mlThe nose is a fantastic blend of tropical fruits and minerality; think of green, honey dew and casaba melons being rinsed off in the waters below Bridalveil Falls (or some other granitic water source): clean, refreshing, lovely. The palate starts off rich and oily with just a touch of sweetness that is moderated by cleansing acidity. Beautiful spring fruits abound: sweet quince, citrus notes (almost like lemon icing) and plenty of orchard fruits enmesh on the palate with a touch of earthiness and lemon grass on the finish. The final note, however, brings the palate back to the fresh stream water running over granite.
- 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_382995Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92PRACTICING ORGANIC
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A fragrant, new-wave Rioja with ripe, red fruit and some floral notes. Excellent balance of bright fruit, polished tannins and mineral freshness on the long, energetic finish. A great lunch wine."
- Item #: i_378415Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91100% Tempranillo
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Crianza is pure Tempranillo from a year they consider spectacular because of the health and ripeness that the grapes achieved very slowly. The destemmed grapes fermented in stainless steel, and the wine matured in French and American oak barrels for 14 months. It is still quite toasty and has a classical profile despite the new-ish oak, a little creamy, with that soft, voluptuous mouthfeel but with the fresh profile of the 2016 vintage, with red rather than black fruit. It's a year of good yields, and the fruit and the wines have very good balance and freshness, less concentrated and more drinkable. It's a year of balance and freshness, with good yields and healthy grapes. It has to be one of the finest vintages for this wine."