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_380664Bottle Size: 750mlArzuaga’s 2017 La Planta is 100% Tempranillo aged for 6 months in seasoned French and American oak. Dark ruby-colored, it reveals aromas of damp earth, violets, spice box, and black cherry. This leads to a forward, supple-textured wine with plenty of ripe fruit, and a finish with no hard edges. Drink it over the next 4 years.
- Item #: i_379419Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2015 La Garnacha de la Madre is pure Garnacha Tintorera (or Alicante Bouschet) fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel and aged in concrete vats for one year before it was bottled. This is only the second vintage of this very personal wine, which has a completely different nose from the rest of the wines from the winery, but it's also different from the majority of other Garnacha Tintorera wines. It has aromas of cured meat, flowers, a touch of tree bark that made me think of a Monastrell and a touch of flint stone. The absence of oak makes the wine very pure. Even the color is different, not as dark as others, with a palate marked by the limestone, fine-grained and polished tannins. This is truly surprising, wild elegance. "
With the first release of their Garnacha de la Madre the team at Mas Que Vinos came out with guns blazing. They’ve long produced some of the very best value wines to be found anywhere in the world, but here they showcase one of their very special vineyard parcels. Garnacha Tintorrera, also known as Alicante Bouchet, is planted throughout the Iberian Peninsula (though it is rare), but it shines particularly bright in the climate just south of Madrid. The Garnacha Tintorrera planted here seems to be particularly unique, differing quite a bit from other plantings around the country. Here the warm days and very cool nights, with daily temperature swings up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, allow the grapes to fully and slowly ripen all while maintaining tons of refreshing acidity.
The La Madre Vineyard sits in a small valley, protected from the winds but, because it’s lower than the surrounding area, it’s much cooler and prone to frost. This “Mother” vineyard is the source of all of the new plantings that they’ve put in over the course of the past few decades. And, with a nod to local tradition, the wine is aged in concrete and 90-year-old clay amphora, as opposed to oak barrels. This helps maintain the bright, floral/spice notes in the wine, which would be lost if the wine were in barrel.
- Item #: i_380255Bottle Size: 750MLPago Florentino is one of only 13 Denominaciones de Origen de Pago existing in Spain as of 2009. This is the highest category on the quality scale of Spanish wines and means that in addition to having a proven track record of consistent quality, the wines have to be both produced from single estate-grown vineyards and also have to be processed and aged in the winery (bodega) located on the estate. This DO de Pago is located in the municipality of Malagón, in the province of Ciudad Real (Castile-La Mancha, Spain) and acquired its status on 20 August 2009.
- Item #: i_380526Bottle Size: 750MLINTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 91 POINTS - "Glass-staining ruby. Explosive, seductively perfumed aromas of candied red and dark berries, incense, rose pastille and Asian spices. Sappy, penetrating black raspberry and blueberry flavors show excellent depth and clarity, with smoky mineral and star anise nuances gaining strength with air. Closes sweet and very long, with lingering spiciness and gentle tannins. Importer Jorge Ordonez told me that lots of high-end oak is used here, from the likes of Taransaud, Darnajou and Dominique Laurent, for example."