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. ARZUAGA 2017 CRIANZA

    Item #: i_380257
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Decanter: 90 to 95 Points
    DECANTER 95 POINTS - "This is a big wine with alluring aromas of cedary oak and black fruit. Ripe palate of black berries, some dark chocolate and integrated, polished oak. Long spicy finish. Classy Ribera."
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  2. BODEGAS Y VINEDOS VALDERIZ 2017 RIBERA DEL DUERO

    Item #: i_382231
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Spectator: 94
    Wine marketing departments like to throw the word "bold" around a bit loosely these days. For the 2017 Valderiz from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, it's a fitting descriptor. It's both intense in flavor and mouthfeel, with an extra-full body, and can stand up to the bolder flavors of the grill. After giving it time to open up, the wine has concentrated dark-fruited flavors including blackcurrant, plum cordial, plenty of creamy vanilla, and subtle woodsy spice, but stops short of being too sweetly fruited. There is also plenty of mouth-filling, grippy tannin from the glass-staining skin extract and oak, and though it softens up a bit with air, this feature is a plus with protein-rich dishes. What really separates this from the average big and bold wine out there is the level of depth, and that the components all work together harmoniously.

    Coming from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, the star of this wine is the local version of Tempranillo called Tinta del Pais, with thicker skins compared to the types found in Rioja. The differences feel appropriate in its home on the plateaus above the Duero river valley in central Spain, where the moderating Mediterranean influence has given way to a more dramatic continental climate.

    The dry sunny summers make it easier for Bodega Valderiz to farm organically (they don't use any systematic synthetic pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers). The wines are fermented with the native yeast and they don't add enzymes to help the process along, contrary to conventional commercial winemaking. Neither filtered nor fined, the taming of this wine comes the old-fashioned way: through 2 years of aging in French and American oak barrels.

    Although Bodega Valderiz was founded in 1997, winemaking is a family tradition involving at least 7 generations. Tomas Esteban was the one who decided to make a bigger business of it, and in 1980 started to seriously expand his vineyard area using clippings from the family vineyards. When his sons were ready, they became the winemakers and Bodega Valderiz was officially born.

    ORGANICALLY FARMED

    100% Tinto del Pais (Tempranillo)

    WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This full-bodied red is generous yet structured, featuring depth and balance. Ripe flavors of plum and currant mingle with cocoa, clove and mineral notes, supported by mouthcoating tannins and balsamic acidity. Harmonious and long. "

    No artificial fertilizers or systematic chemical treatments in the vineyard. Fermented with indigenous yeast, with no additives such as acids, tannin, glucose, enzymes and so on. Aged in 80% French, 20% American oak (60% new, 40% once used).
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  3. PAGO DE LOS CAPELLANES 2017 CRIANZA

    Item #: i_378647
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Prepared with Tempranillo grapes (100%), this wine has a very bright, intense maraschino cherry colour that fades to a Cardinal red rim.
    It has a very marked aroma with a good balance of fruit and wood, where tones of vanilla intermingle with well-ripened fruit, black berries and wild fruits. There are also noticeable hints of leather and liquorice, resulting from the mingling of the French oak and the aromas inherent in this variety of grape.
    In the mouth, the wine has a smooth texture but fills the palate with balanced flavours, including fine tannins, which help extend the life of the wine. The finish and aftertaste are both long and elegant.
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  4. YOTUEL 2017 ROBLE RIBERA DEL DUERO

    Item #: i_383208
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES

    100% Tempranillo (Tinto del Pais)

    This is a great choice for the darker, denser style of Tempranillo that grows in the mountains around the Duero valley. Ripe, but not jammy, with plummy fruit, a good use of subtle oak, and slightly chewy skin extract and tannin. It maintains an appetizing ripeness/freshness balance.

    WINERY NOTES - "The nearly nine hectares of vines we cultivate are situated exclusively in Anguix, in the heart of Ribera del Duero...more than 800 metres above sea level the climatic situation is very special: the winter is hard and long, the risk of frost in spring is high. The summer is short and hot. A crucial point for the richness of the wines is the difference of the temperature between day and night which may pass 30 ºC in August. There is little rainfall, the annual average is of about 430 mm."
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