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_378455Bottle Size: EACHWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2009 Pago de Carrovejas El Anajon de la Cuesta de las Liebres (to give it its full name), is Tinto Fino blended with 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot and raised for 12 months in French oak, has a much better, more refined bouquet with blackberry and raspberry fruit, a suggestion of wild heather and cedar. The palate is full-bodied with good backbone and structure, while the crisp acidity keeps the graphite-tinged finish agile and focused. This is very impressive. Drink now-2017."
STEPHEN TANZER 93 POINTS - "Glass-staining ruby. Explosive, smoke- and spice-accented dark berry compote and floral scents are complicated by notes of spicecake and vanilla. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and cherry-cola flavors and a refreshing touch of blood orange. Rich but energetic, with superb finishing clarity, slow-building tannins and lingering sweetness".
Founded in 1988 in Penafiel, Pago de Carraovejas was founded by Jose Maria Ruiz. The former restaurateur released his inaugural vintage in 1993 (the 1991) and they have not looked back since. The wines comes from a single 140 hectare vineyard planted with 75% Tinto Fino and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and the wines are raised in a mixture of American and French oak, a judicious one-third renewed each year. These wines have a lot to offer: well-crafted and full of personality, the judicious use of Bordeaux varieties adds a little je ne sais quoi to the blend. These are well worth seeking out.