SPAIN

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.

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  1. CASA CASTILLO 2016 LAS GRAVAS JUMILLA

    Item #: i_382574
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 94
    WINE 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."
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  2. EL NIDO 2018 CLIO

    Item #: i_377064
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    The 2018 release of Clio from Bodegas El Nido is here! We are huge fans of this winery and particular bottling, as our loyal readers may recall, and for good reason. Their track record is strong and they have done it once again-- this wine rocks!

    The nose is filled with spicy red and blue fruits: savory peppered plums, raspberries and blueberries, earthy incense, kirsch liqueur and cola nut. Bright fruits with elements of earth and minerality.

    The palate has a lovely mouthfeel/viscosity with the tastes reiterating the scents. Bright red and blue fruits with hints of spice and earth. The lush fruits are tempered and balanced by excellent structure: moderate tannins and acidity course throughout leading to an extended finish of blueberries, raspberries and cherries, bolstered by earthy elements. It’s hard to focus on one particular aspect of this wine as the parts are so synchronized to uplift the totality of the whole. It really is a choir of smells and tastes that blend and flow together so well. Harmony in the glass, for sure!

    Balanced enough to enjoy solo, this will greatly elevate a number of foods to enjoy with it: rice, pasta, (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni), vegetables, mushroom, stewed meat, sausage, pork, roast meat, red and/or white meat with sauces, grilled meat, short or medium cheeses.

    The 2018 Clio is a blend of 70% Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon; the grapes for this wine are made from 30 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards and 79 acres of very old Monastrell, with a very low yield. The grapes are harvested with small baskets to prevent bruising. The bunches are brought to triage tables where the best ones are selected. It spends 24 months in French and American new oak barrels where it gets a very typical complexity.

    And, of course, we must point out that this wine comes out of the Gil Famiy Estates portfolio; we carry many of their wines and, across-the-board, they express the glorious bounty that Spanish vintners have been and are currently creating. We must, therefore, also highlight the El Nido 2018 "El Nido" wine $119.98. For this wine they utilize 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell and it’s clearly the main thoroughbred in the Gil Family Estates stable of winners.
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  3. EL NIDO 2018 EL NIDO

    Item #: i_350181
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    El Nido is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Monastrell (30%) from very old vineyards that have a low yield but great quality. The harvest is done by hand. El Nido undergoes a maceration and afterwards a fermentation in small stainless steel deposits and barrels. The malolactic fermentation occurs in new French and American oak barrels, where there is an aging for 24 months. El Nido is one of the great wines from D.O. Jumilla. Full of flavor, complex and powerful.
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    $119.98
  4. JUAN GIL 2018 BLUE LABEL

    Item #: i_381426
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    60% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah

    We have developed quite the Pavlovian relationship with wines from Juan Gil and Gil Family Estates over the years; before we even get a chance to taste these wines, we tend to salivate in anticipation of the great tasting experience ahead. Why is that? Simply put, their track record here in the store, with our valued clientele and staff, is excellent, as are their wines. From their entry-level bargains on the ramp to their more advanced selections in the cellar, we have found their portfolio to be consistent in both how good the wines are to drink and the quality-to-price ratio: lots of bang for the buck with these bottlings! The 2017 "Blue Label" fits right in with our expectations and we are, once again, overjoyed to share how great this juice is!

    A blend of 60% Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre), 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, the nose is filled with scents of fresh berries, cedar, incense, wet clay and notes of hillside garrique. Upon tasting, the sweet fruits make their presence known, displaying flavors of mixed strawberries, cherries and boysenberries that are grounded with big firm tannins and grippy acidity. A big, beautiful wine with tons of fruit balanced by savory notes and magnificent structure. A final nosing (so sexy!) brings further hints of pie crust, graham cracker and rose garden. We love it! Enjoy with ribs, lamb, burgers, tapas, hard cheese, meat pizza, mushroom dishes, sausages (great red for summer grilling!
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  5. JUAN GIL 2018 MONASTRELL SILVER LABEL

    Item #: i_373831
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 93
    WINE 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."
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  6. JUAN GIL 2018 RED BLEND

    Item #: i_382509
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 91
    James Suckling: 90
    WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Produced for the US market, this is the first vintage of the 2018 Juan Gil Red Blend. It is 45% Monastrell, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah from a year more in line with 2016, more continental and with more rain, despite which, the wine is still 15% alcohol. The different grapes fermented and matured separately for 12 months. It's ripe and has notes of chocolate and spices, keeping some herbal undertones and with the tasty and pungent notes from the Cabernet. 54,000 bottles produced. This wine is sold exclusively in the US. It was bottled in June 2020."

    JAMES SUCKLING 90 POINTS - "This juicy and vibrant, summer-berry and wild-cherry nose leads to a very plush and deep-set palate with a sleek, juicy and attractive feel. So vibrant. Drink now."
    45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Monastrell, 10% Syrah.
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