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_381415Bottle Size: 750mlThis amazing Garnacha (Grenache) with the eye-catching label offers so much for so little. The fruit is bright and fresh, the palate is silky smooth, and there is surprising complexity for a wine at this price-point. Enticing flavors of raspberry liqueur, black cherry, licorice, and exotic spices reveal themselves with each sip. Bodegas Ateca Honoro Vera is made by the Gil Family Estates who also make the famed El Nido Clio amongst other top values from Spain. They source grapes from the estate’s 60 year old Garnacha vines in Calatayud, Spain and the results speak for themselves. The quality-to-price ratio for the Honoro Vera Garnacha is off the charts and represents an incredible value in the world of wine. Delicious!
- Item #: i_383947Bottle Size: 750mlAugust 2020 Wine of the Month
If ever there was a wine meant to enjoy during hot summer days, balmy nights, socially-distanced barbecues and pandemic times-- this is it!! Flor de Goda is out of the Gil Family Estates portfolio and you should be fairly familiar with this group by now-- we have sung their praises many, many times (most recently with an email in late July for the Juan Gil "Blue Label"). Why? Because they make a panoply of excellent wines at varying prices from numerous terroirs and regions in Spain, wines we believe are stellar, enjoy drinking and that have found resonance with our friends and customers here in the store. Strong their track record is (as Yoda would say).
So, what about this Flor de Goda? 100% Garnacha (Grenache) from Campo de Borja, it drinks way above its price point with a multi-layered, nuanced approach. The nose exudes scents of plum, raspberry, river rock minerality, rose garden and mixed baking spices. Lovely! In the mouth, ripe, jammy fruit is kept grounded with brisk acidity and silky tannins. Beautiful flavors of cherries and berries are joined by notes of peppery spice, dark cacao and a finish filled with hints of blueberry and blackberry fruits. This is a lovely quaffer, filled with fruit but balanced by excellent structure. Big enough for the grill, balanced enough to enjoy under the summer sun.
Bodegas Morca is the winery, it has been built to be modeled after Bodegas El Nido. So every parcel, which ranges in age from 45-85 years old, and free run vs first press is fermented and aged separately so that the blends will be perfect; they make four 100% Garnacha wines ranging from El Nido/Clio level in the Touran and Morca wines, to Flor de Goda. In the case of Flor de Goda, the winemaker wanted to highlight the elegant floral and fruit notes that Campo de Borja Garnachas are known for, so they used 80% free run juice and aged the wine just 6 months in 2nd and 3rd use barrels.
In addition, this winery has been built in accordance to LEED specifications. They are still in the process of getting full certification, but at this point in time it is fully off the electrical grid (solar) and zero-waste. The Gil Family has been investing every year to get more of their wineries off the grid (total of 3 now are) to further lessen their footprint. Also, their vineyards are farmed organically-- no pesticides or herbicides are used-- however, the vineyards have not yet been certified organic. It's a long process, but that will be the direction. Also, as the vines are old and all planted in the traditional vaso (goblet) style, they are hand-harvested. All of their wines are Vegan as well.
Guía Peñín 90 Points
[La Guia Peñín is Spain's most famous and comprehensive wine guide. It is compiled by José Peñín, whose impressive knowledge of international and Spanish wines has been gathered over more than 25 years as a professional wine writer and journalist.]
- Item #: i_306230Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker Notes - "Very intense cherry red color with tones of purple. Great concentration of aromas of ripe red fruit with floral nuances on the nose. In the mouth, it is a well-structured rich wine that evokes tastes of blackberry, plum and tones of leather and vanilla, with soft and silky tannin. Mountain vineyards with an age of 35 to 60 years situated at an altitude of 600-700 meters, on stony, slimy soils with clay and limestone."
- Item #: i_381699Bottle Size: 750mlBorsao's wines have been a corner stone of our Spanish section for years and years. Familiarity sometimes means we don't taste these wines as often as we should. It's true! Just grab a glass of Borsao's $6.98 Vina Borgia Garnacha, it is probably the best wine for the money on the planet. The color is a rich dark purple. Warm spices enveloped in blackberry and blueberry. The richness and spice carries through on the palate as the darker fruit tones showing on the nose are brightened by notes of red cherry and pomegranate. The folks at Borsao own nearly 3 thousand acres in Campo de Borja, roughly three quarters of the appellation. This rocky zone in the foothills of the Pyrenees is one of the original homes of the Garnache grape. There is an old church on the property that has records of Garnache plantings that go back to the 900's...
- Item #: i_383554Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91Wine Enthusiast: 91While we are never surprised tasting great Spanish wines, as their history, traditions and culinary lineage are the perfect setup for a country to generate great juice, it’s when we find such high quality in the bottle for such a fair price that sets off fireworks in both our wallets and palates. With 91 Points from Wine Advocate, this one’s at the top of the charts as one of the best Spanish wines we've ever seen for such a banging deal! (Mic drop).
Beautiful berry fruits fill the nose, with strawberry and cherry in the fore, as notes of white pepper, scrub brush and background florals lend depth and diversity. The bright berry fruits continue on the palate, with red plum and black raspberry taking the lead as notes of orange peel, orange pekoe tea and mixed dark spices fill in the gaps. Vivid acidity and light tannins keep the wine grounded and even-keeled. We love a good Garnacha anytime-- but especially when it’s at such a wallet-friendly price! Enjoy with grilled octopus, Manchego cheese, roasted chicken, steak, filet mignon, or on its own (p.s. also pairs well with ‘June gloom’ or bright sunshine!)
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The young 2018 OGV Old Garnacha Vine has a mealy nose with notes of cereals and ripe berry fruit. It's a collaboration with the family and Alonso López and sold through Mesa Imports in the US (a different importer). It's nicely crafted, varietal and ripe without excess, juicy and keeping the balance and freshness. 32,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2020."