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_378221Bottle Size: 1.5LSTEPHEN TANZER 94 POINTS - "90% tempranillo and 10% cabernet sauvignon; aged for two years in new French oak): Inky ruby. A complex, highly aromatic bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, cola, mocha and incense, along with subtle notes of vanilla and licorice. Juicy and broad on the palate, offering energetic black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors accented by candied violet and allspice nuances. A zesty mineral element adds lift and cut to the strikingly long, sappy finish, which shows just a whisper of tannins"
- Item #: i_380887Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Like the rest of the wines, I tasted the bottled 2018 Flor de Pingus—which I tasted unbottled last year—next to the 2019 that will be bottled in June 2021, and it was great to see how the wines reflected the character of the two vintages. All of the estate vineyards are certified organic, and this is pure Tinta del País, the local strain of Tempranillo, from 40 hectares in five different locations (parajes) of the village of La Horra where the Pingus vineyards are also located. It fermented with natural yeasts and also natural malolactic and matured for 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. The day I tasted it, the wine was oakier than normal, but the amount of new oak is not higher than normal. The palate showed much better, with very fine and polished tannins. There is freshness, even red fruit and good balance. The oak should integrate with a little more time in bottle. 120,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2020."
- Item #: i_378084Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "I was really looking forward to the bottled version of the 2018 Pingus after a great showing of the cask sample last year. Part of the wine matured in 20,000-liter oak casks, so it's not all barrique. This is the first time they used the vats, and based on the results, Sisseck thinks in the future Pingus will be around 50% in oak vats. The Pingus vines were planted in 1929 in two different sectors of the village of La Horra, Barroso and San Cristobal and contain some 2% other varieties. The vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic and are manicured like few vineyards in Spain. The wine is subtle and harmonious, elegant and insinuating, with all the components in very good balance. This is precise and pure; Sisseck is thorough and meticulous, and the wine shows that precision. This follows the line of the 2016, showing very well even if it was bottled only one month before I tasted it. 9,300 bottles were filled in August 2020."
- Item #: i_383121Bottle Size: 750mlCommitted to organic farming and biodynamic agricultural principles, the level of his expertise is unquestioned. The Sastres inherited from their father and grandfather prime vineyard sites in the Burgos area of Ribera del Duero. Jesús has always respected the site and the history of the vineyards his family has farmed.
This is the family wine, made only in the finest years. Hand harvested by only the family members. 2,000 bottles produced from some of the oldest parcels of Tempranillo in Pago de Santa Cruz, blended with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot. One of spain's rarest treasures.
Vintage: An exceptional, well-balanced vintage, similar to the 2010, with a perfect balance between alcohol, acidity and high-quality tannins. This harvest gave tremendous potential for aged wines.
Tasting Note: Full-bodied, ripe,concentrated and intense, a luxurious Ribera del Duero in all senses. Tastes of sily dark fruit, exotic black truffles and grilled lamb.
- 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_383599Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2015 Valbuena, a red blend of mostly Tempranillo with some 5% Merlot, is released in the fifth year after the harvest. It's explosive and showy, with a complex nose that shows a mixture of flowers and wild herbs, balsamic touches and great nuance. This wine has gained in complexity since the 2010 vintage, where they implemented some changes that increased the expressivity and precision of this wine. The tannins are fine-grained and there is very good balance, and the warm conditions of the year have been absorbed well by the wine. Despite the natural conditions of the year, the wine follows the path of freshness of the 2010."
- Item #: i_376336Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 96JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "Very impressive red plums and the Alion has a very approachable feel to it, supple and even. The nose delivers some savory, slightly tarry and earthy character with a classic, direct and easy-to-understand feel. Some dried flowers, too. The palate has medium body and delivers fleshy, round red cherries, gently savory, spicy elements and fine, long and detailed tannins. A great Alion, full of flavor, very fresh. Drink across the next 15 years."
- 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."