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_382501Bottle Size: 750mlVINOUS MEDIA 91 POINTS - "Aromas of dried cherry and red berries are complemented by suggestions of succulent herbs and coconut. Chewy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and red currant flavors that pick up smoke and spice flourishes on the back half. Dusty tannins build slowly on the finish and frame lingering cherry and licorice notes.”
- Item #: i_377415Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90James Suckling: 9385% Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha, Graciano, & Mazuelo
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "A very fresh and clean wine with plums, dark berries and hints of cedar. Medium to full body, integrated tannins and a bright finish. Excellent now."
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Cune Reserva is the classical blend of Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo. It's approachable and easy to drink without being banal, the entry-level wine of the Reserva range if you like. It has a mixture of red and black fruit and good ripeness without excess. In fact, it feels quite fresh for the natural conditions of the year, which was very warm and dry."
- Item #: i_380629Bottle Size: 750MLCune 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. Cune is one of the most renowned and historic bodegas in all of Spain. Founded in 1879 by the Real de Asúa brothers, the company has been an integral part of Rioja’s ascendance in the world of fine wine. The company is still run by descendants of the Real de Asúa brothers and remains a constant in the cultural iconography of Spain. Their combination of traditional roots and innovative vision, has made them one of Rioja’s most reliable sources for high quality wine.
- Item #: i_382602Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 96Tempranillo, Graciano, and Garnacha
JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "A rich and dense red with deep and rich flavors of spice, smoked meat, mushrooms and berries. Medium to full body. Extremely long and creamy. Wonderful fruit and balance. Drink now."
TELMO RODRIGUEZ NOTES - "Lanzaga is the backbone of our project, the identity, the purest expression of our work in Lanciego. Made only from a selection of the best grapes from our own organic vineyards, Lanzaga brings together all the elements of our way of work; respect of the place, bush pruning, field blend, organic viticulture, concrete fermentation, aging (~14 months) in foudres and barrels of different sizes and origins, keeping always a limited production of human size. The result is a rich and complex expression of the village of Lanciego..."
- Item #: i_380563Bottle Size: 750MLEven Lopez de Heredia's Crianza is well-aged, but maintains a freshness of fruit that points to the quality in this vineyard (and winemaking). As Tim Atkin, MW puts it: "[Vina Cubillo] tends to produce the lightest, freshest and most elegant of the López de Heredia reds. Floral, refined and delicately wooded, this is sweet, delicate and almost Pinot Noir-like in terms of its flavors and tannin structure."
- Item #: i_380594Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Currant, blackberry and some plum undertones, as well as floral and burnt-orange notes. Linear and firm on the palate with a medium to full body and a polished, tannic finish. Very clean and refined texture, yet displaying strength at the same time. Drink or hold."
- Item #: i_379330Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 95PRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
Tempranillo and Garnacha, with Mazuelo and Graciano.
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "This is really tight and powerful with gorgeous tannins and solid fruit. Full body. Tight and composed. Wet earth, smoked meat and hints of black truffles. Very long and powerful. Wonderful length. Real Rioja. One of the top best-value, high-quality reds in Spain. Drink or hold."
- Item #: i_382911Bottle Size: 750mlPedro Peciña founded his namesake winery in 1992 with the aim to produce very traditional wines that are unmistakably Rioja. Previous to this he was the vineyard manager for the La Rioja Alta winery for 25 years.Only estate fruit is used for the Peciña wines. All of their fruit comes from around the town of San Vicente, an area widely regarded as having some of the best vineyards in Rioja.
• In order for a wine to be called Reserva in Rioja, the wine needs to be aged for at least 1 year in barrel and 2 years in bottle. Peciña’s Reserva far exceeds this requirement.
• Vinification: Fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel vats; Raised in used American oak barrels for 3 years with 6 manual rackings; Aged in bottle for at least two years before release; Unfiltered
• Character: Complex, full-bodied, smoothly textured, ripe dark fruit, tobacco, leather, coffee bean, and umami. • Gastronomy: Lamb, Beef, Venison, Roasted Meats
- Item #: i_381055Bottle Size: 750mlROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Lindes de Remelluri Viñedos de Labastida was produced with Tempranillo and Garnacha purchased from growers from that village and was cropped from a healthy and homogeneous year. There is a ripe note on the nose, and the palate has some dusty tannins that call for food."
- 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_381488Bottle Size: 750mlThe vineyards belonging to Bodega Sierra Cantabria are composed of soils made of calcareous-clay and poor in organic matter, nutrients and minerals. This wine is a Tempranillo based blend with some Graciano, aged in both French and American Oak. A red wine with a strong primary character ,very aromatic, perceptible tannin but ripe with good acidity and structure, character and expressive. Pure character!
- Item #: i_380319Bottle Size: 750mlBlend: 95 % Tempranillo, 5 % Mazuelo & Graciano
The 2000 Bodegas Urbina Rioja Seleccion offers intense aromas of red fruits, flowers, sweet spices, dried herbs, and cedar. In the mouth, it is flavorful with good balance, vibrancy, soft tannins, and impressive persistence.
- Item #: i_382405Bottle Size: 750ml90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo, & 5% Graciano
Nose: Intense, complex with ripe red fruit, balsamic notes, truffe and toasty notes.
Palate: Complex, balanced, ripe tannins, frut-forward with roasted notes.
Aged 36 months in 80% American and 20% French oak.
The Bodegas Ramon de Ayala, founded in 1970, is based on family winemaking since 1853. Now with vineyards in Rioja Alta and Alavesa (in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria mountain range), they make wines that are an improved version of the traditional Riojas of long ago. They still age their wines longer than the minimum requirements before releasing them on the market, and for a very fair price.