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_382475Bottle Size: 750mlPRACTICING ORGANIC
Working organically since his first vintage in 2004, all the grapes are hand-picked. Vinification is traditional (small wooden press), there is a very prudent use of oak 'a good barrel is a barrel you cannot taste' says Albert, it should 'help the wine express itself not actually add its own mark to the juice'. All wines are then bottled without fining or filtration, making them the most exciting and expressive wines we have tasted from this upcoming region.
80% Carignan, 20% Garnacha 10 months in 1-3 year old French oak barrels 40-75 year old vines Primary violets, black cherry, raspberry, herbs & oak, palate has vim & vigour, rich, broad black fruits, fennel, floral, plum and dark chocolate
- Item #: i_380247Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94Wine Spectator: 94PRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
#41 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Alluring plum, blackberry, cola and spice cake flavors are rich and balanced in this expressive Spanish red. There's plenty of structure, but it doesn't get in the way of the flavors, and the spicy, floral finish is long and fresh. Best after 2009. 6,100 cases made."
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "I also had the opportunity to taste the 2014 San Román, which has benefitted from one extra year in bottle. The year was less warm and ripe than 2015, but the fruit is still quite ripe, but without excess. It has nicely integrated oak and a powerful mouthfeel keeping the poise and elegance. The flavors are focused, and the end is long. 95,000 bottles produced."
- Item #: i_381250Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 93 PointsPRACTICING ORGANIC
WINE ENTHUSIAST 93 POINTS - "This dark, concentrated number is new from the García family, known for the wines of San Román and Mauro. Like most reds from this clan, this is loaded with blackberry and toasty oak aromas. A massive, raw palate shows abrasive tannins. Oak-forward flavors of blackberry, cassis and coconut finish woody and powerful. Drink from 2018–2028. "
Mariano García and his two sons Alberto and Eduardo García Montaña form a winning team. After 30 years (1968-1998) as winemaker at Vega Sicilia, Mariano brings his longtime experience as well as his particular wisdom in terms of wine aging.
Garmón —a name which joins the family’s García and Montaña surnames.
- Item #: i_382743Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92PRACTICING ORGANIC
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Bright cranberry and citrus nose for such a big Mediterranean red. This has a lightness, too, in spite of the generous dry tannins that build at the finish. Drink now."
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 90 POINTS - "(raised in used French oak barrels) Lurid ruby. Aromas and flavors of candied dark berries, cola, allspice and smoky herbs. Juicy and precise on the palate, showing silky texture and very good focus and spicy lift. Closes on a sappy cherry note, displaying very good clarity, gently gripping tannins and a lingering suggestion of violet."
- Item #: i_382512Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92Located in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, Izadi produces wines that express the character of Tempranillo. The word Izadi means Nature. The vineyards are located deep in the heart of Rioja Alavesa in a triangle formed by three villages, Villabuena, Ábalos and Samaniego. The grapes for this wine are sourced from vineyards with an average age of 45 years ensuring low yields and intense flavors. Aging is completed in a combination of both French and American barrels.
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A generous plum, chocolate and earthy nose with subtle oak. Dry tannins are well integrated. An impressive modern wine."
- Item #: i_380785Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 92100% TEMPRANILLO
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Dried red cherries, paprika, coconut, dried strawberries and earth. Medium body, steely and subtle tannins and a red plum-soaked, medium-chewy finish. Drink in 2021."
WINEMAKER NOTES - "High aromatic intensity with dominating ripe fruit: raspberries, red cherries, wild strawberries and red currants set out against a balsamic background of vanilla, toasted caramel, biscuits, coffee and sweet mints. In the mouth, you can enjoy good acidity, great freshness and balance and mild, friendly tannins. Aromatic harmony persists through the aftertaste, with notes of red fruit jam, prunes, coffee, vanilla and caramel. Viña Alberdi is characterised by a notable food-pairing versatility. It is an ideal companion to appetisers, snacks and barbecues, perfect with rice, pastas and stews, and great with lightly-grilled meat and fish."
Aged for two years in American oak barrels manufactured inhouse; the first year in new oak.
- Item #: i_382602Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 96Tempranillo, Graciano, and Garnacha
JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "A rich and dense red with deep and rich flavors of spice, smoked meat, mushrooms and berries. Medium to full body. Extremely long and creamy. Wonderful fruit and balance. Drink now."
TELMO RODRIGUEZ NOTES - "Lanzaga is the backbone of our project, the identity, the purest expression of our work in Lanciego. Made only from a selection of the best grapes from our own organic vineyards, Lanzaga brings together all the elements of our way of work; respect of the place, bush pruning, field blend, organic viticulture, concrete fermentation, aging (~14 months) in foudres and barrels of different sizes and origins, keeping always a limited production of human size. The result is a rich and complex expression of the village of Lanciego..."
- Item #: i_382848Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92A collaboration between Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild!
WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - "The 2014 Macán Clásico, pure Tempranillo from their 92 hectares of vineyards in Ábalos, Labastida, El Villar and San Vicente de la Sonsierra, fermented after a cold soak, followed by malolactic partly in barriques and an élevage of 12 to 14 months in new and second use French oak barrels. It's still quite young...good consistency, juicy, integrated and balanced. The Macán wines seem to be coming of age."
Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild began the Macán project 10 years ago with the steady acquisition of parcels in Rioja, purchased from small farmers. They focused on the best terroirs, with stony calcareous clay soils, complex mesoclimatic influences, and deep-rooted Tempranillo vines ranging in age from 25 to 80 years old. Each year, the winery aims to produce two wines, Macán and Macán Clasico, in a tradition they took from Bordeaux, where it is standard to produce a "first" and a "second" wine; the first is made with lots that show more potential, and the second is more expressive and easy to drink when young. This is perhaps the most notable influence of the Rothschild family on the project, because otherwise all viticulture and winemaking is in the hands of the Vega Sicilia team. The style of the wines is certainly not ‘traditional' Rioja- for example, after trials, they decided against American oak. Perhaps the term Neo-Classical is most apt, with complex mineral-infused fruit and discreet oak influences, underpinned by a fine but firm structure.
- Item #: i_380595Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A wealth of ripe dark plums and cherries on offer here with earthy nuances, too. The palate has a very succulent, juicy and fresh feel with plenty of very juicy, rich and succulent fruit to close."
- Item #: i_383416Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsTIM ATKIN 96 POINTS - "This has fulfilled its early promise. It's very much a modern style, with masses of colour, rich, textured tannins, good grip and structure, savoury, dark plum and blackberry fruit and refreshing, underlying acidity. 2022-30."
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Fruit-focused red, with strong aromas of ripe blackberries, red plums and gently complex earthy and spicy notes. There’s energetic, ripe dark and red fruit on the palate. Silky and crisp with fine tannins, giving a velvety and chalky texture. Upbeat and succulent finish. Drink or hold."
JEB DUNNUCK AND WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS
- Item #: i_383121Bottle Size: 750mlCommitted to organic farming and biodynamic agricultural principles, the level of his expertise is unquestioned. The Sastres inherited from their father and grandfather prime vineyard sites in the Burgos area of Ribera del Duero. Jesús has always respected the site and the history of the vineyards his family has farmed.
This is the family wine, made only in the finest years. Hand harvested by only the family members. 2,000 bottles produced from some of the oldest parcels of Tempranillo in Pago de Santa Cruz, blended with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot. One of spain's rarest treasures.
Vintage: An exceptional, well-balanced vintage, similar to the 2010, with a perfect balance between alcohol, acidity and high-quality tannins. This harvest gave tremendous potential for aged wines.
Tasting Note: Full-bodied, ripe,concentrated and intense, a luxurious Ribera del Duero in all senses. Tastes of sily dark fruit, exotic black truffles and grilled lamb.
- Item #: i_383599Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96James Suckling: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2014 Valbuena, mostly Tempranillo with some 5% Merlot fermented by plot, making a selection from their 210 hectares of vineyards, and then matured in a combination of barriques and larger 20,000-liter oak vats. 2014 is a spectacular vintage of Valbuena, and it reminds me of the 2010, perhaps a tad more elegant and less powerful. It's expressive and has floral notes on the nose along with wild berries, herbs and a spicy and smoky touch that's nicely integrated. It has good complexity and nuance, and the palate is medium to full-bodied and intense, with pungent flavors and great length and persistence. Truly spectacular! 184,684 bottles, 5,578 magnums and some large formats produced. It was bottled in June 2016."
JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "The ripeness is impressive here. A lot of work was done in the vineyard in 2014 to get yields right. It delivers darker fruit aromas and flavors, black cherries and plums, dark chocolate and licorice. The palate is deeply fleshy with rich blueberries, cassis and dark roasting herbs. Very deep-set, powerful black fruit with a deeper tannin texture. The power and freshness here is extraordinary. Deeply layered. Superb."