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_381071Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93James Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "The black-cherry, warm-earth and delicate, smoky notes on the nose make this enticing. On the palate, there’s great balance between ripe and dry notes, the generous tannins polished and already well integrated. Long, silky and subtle finish."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Rich and dense, this red shows a brooding character, with woodsy and loamy earth notes framing a core of currant and tar. Muscular tannins are well-integrated, and juicy acidity keeps this lively. Harmonious. Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. Drink now through 2030. 30,000 cases made, 5,000 cases imported."
- Item #: i_382357Bottle Size: 750mlBurghound: 92PRACTICING ORGANIC
70% Carignan, 30% Garnacha
This is a newer discovery and we are happy to be able to bring this fabulous wine into the store! Acustic Celler is the project of Albert Jané who grew up helping tend vineyards and learning the craft of winemaking from his family. He worked there until he was 33 years old when he fell in love with the rugged landscape and ancient vineyards of Montsant, an area of north-eastern Spain which surrounds Priorat. Albert left the security of the family business to start his own adventure, Acústic Celler. He chose the winery name to reflect his desire to keep his wines, “unplugged.” In other words, to let the terroir and grapes speak for themselves. The old vines provide an amazing nectar of fruit, which is fermented using natural yeasts. Cautious use of barrel-aging helps the wines achieve maturity without hiding the character of the grapes from which they have been made. The flavors of this wine dance on the tongue and somehow manage to achieve richness and lightness at once. Bravo!
- Item #: i_383451Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
"Intense aromas of forest fruits, strawberries, raspberries and blackberry jam. In addition, there are balsamic overtones of eucalyptus and mint. On the palate, a freshness and pleasant, subtle tannins, with pleasingly-integrated notes of coconut and vanilla." - WINERY NOTES
"This project was created in 1987 by a couple of oenologists with deep roots in the business: jerezano Eduardo Gómez Palma and riojana María Isabel Bernardo Córdoba de Samaniego. They discovered in La Puebla de Labarca “our own special place, a magical land that offered us everything we needed to create the wines we had imagined”. Their old vines, planted in the banks of the Ebro river, thrive thanks to the sheltering effect of the Sierra Cantabria and to their perfect southwards orientation. Since their very beginning, María Isabel and Eduardo strived to bring to La Rioja Alavesa the innovative techniques they learned while studying abroad, in a time when the labels Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva had lost most of its original sense. Their obsession for quality and innovation is showcased in their recent “Belezos Ecológico”, a great representation of the powerful Rioja Alavesa terroir, made with organic grapes." - ANTALVA IMPORTS
- Item #: i_381221Bottle Size: 750mlIt is an exciting time for Spanish winemaking and particularly for the Priorat region which continues its evolution as a producer of thrilling red wines. Although winemaking has taken place in Priorat for centuries, the region really caught the public’s attention in the 1990’s when several producers blazed a trail, focusing on quality. Today, this area is thriving and the demand for its wines continues to grow.
One of the great names associated with winemaking in Spain is Juan Gil, maker of the hugely popular Clio and El Nido wines, which sell out quickly once we get them in the store. One of Gil’s newer ventures is his exciting project in Priorat which he calls Bluegray, named for the color of the slate soils in his vineyards. Bluegray is a blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Mazuelo (Carignan) and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, which is lush and powerful, yet artfully balanced with pure fruit flavors augmented by minerality imparted by the soils. It is made in a ripe, fruit-forward style which seems tailor-made for the American palate.
Deep ruby with heavy staining of the tears, the nose shows focused ripe black fruit and cherry flavors accented by fresh autumn spices, mineral and spicy notes. On the palate, this wine is full-bodied with very smooth tannins. The fresh fruit flavors on display include blackberry, cherry, currant and blue plums. This shows good balance and drinkability with a long, lingering finish. Enjoy on its own or with grilled and roasted beef, aged cheeses and hearty dishes.
- Item #: i_381888Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 90WINERY NOTES - "Intense cherry red color. Remarkable aromatic complexity with notes of black fruit, light balsamic and toasted touches that remind of BBQ and a vanilla chocolate cake. Cherry cola, lavender, bright red and black preserves in the mouth, full bodied with rich complexity."
JAMES SUCKLING 90 POINTS - "Light and crisp, but also full of character with some nice red-cherry aromas that pull you back for more and, with each sip, the wine seems to expand a bit more. "
- Item #: i_377354Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "This time there were two vintages of the top-of-the-range red to taste, as the 2014 is almost finished and the 2015 Clos Mogador will be released soon. In this warmer vintage, there is a little more Cariñena in the blend, with the final breakdown something like 45% Garnacha, 29% Cariñena, 16% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This had the same vinification and aging as the 2014: fermentation with indigenous yeasts and a 35- to 45-day maceration, followed by an élevage in 300-liter barrels and 2,000-liter foudres that lasted 18 months. 2015 is a rounder and easier year than 2014, and it feels a little riper, supple but with good freshness. It's clean and precise with nicely integrated oak. This was an easy vintage for the winery, and the wines are easy to understand and more approachable early on. 31,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2017."
Clos Mogador is named after the single vineyard that René Barbier started to cultivate in the 1970's in the now-famous wine village of Gratallops. The wines of Clos Mogador have become as famous as other mythical wines of the world such as Italy's Sassicaia and Bordeaux's Château Margaux. It has reached the cult status (and prices) as "un Grande Vino" on the world's stage.
One of the most interesting aspects of winemaking at Clos Mogador is the fact that René presses the grape using an olive press, which has the effect of only extracting half of the amount of juice that a typical wine press would, making the wine 50% more concentrated. Considering that Priorat wines are already highly concentrated, and that "normal" yields are absolutely microscopic (especially compared to other Spanish wine regions such as La Rioja), the wines of Clos Mogador are nearly elixirs. Robert Parker, the influential wine critic, was one of the first international critics to praise the wines of this stunning winery.
- Item #: i_383003Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 93Vinous Media: 93James Suckling: 95JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "A tight and linear red now with very long and direct palate that is driven and intense. Medium to full body, bright blackberry and mineral character. Just a baby now. Give it three to four years to soften. A beauty. Try in 2021."
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 94 POINTS - "Saturated, brilliant ruby. Explosive, seductively perfumed aromas of dark berry preserves, cherry-cola, incense, floral oils and vanilla, along with suggestions of mocha, licorice and woodsmoke. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering intense blackberry, cherry preserve and violet pastille flavors and allspice, coconut and star anise flourishes. Distinctly rich yet energetic as well, finishing with resonating floral and spice character, well-integrated tannins and superb mineral-driven persistence."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS -"This balanced red shows muscle without losing grace. Black cherry, leafy, forest floor and toasty notes mingle over well-integrated tannins in a silky texture, with fresh acidity giving way to a floral, minerally finish. Not showy, but harmonious. Drink now through 2030."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The analysis of the 2015 Imperial Reserva is almost identical to those of the Viña Real Reserva from the same vintage, but the profile is quite different. This is the more serious Haro-style red, and it has slightly darker fruit and a medium to full-bodied palate with very good grip, powerful but with great balance. The blend is also similar—85% Tempranillo and the rest split between Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha—but these are grapes from Rioja Alta fermented with yeasts selected from their own vineyards. The wine matured in French and American oak barrels for two years. The wines are different, but the quality level is similar."
- Item #: i_381222Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "This is a fuller and richer crianza with dried fruit, meat and spice. Layered and round-textured. Shows soft tannins. Rich and flavorful at the finish. Gorgeous wine."
Cune`s Viña Real winery is located on top of the Cerro de la Mesa, in Rioja Alavesa, an area celebrated for its fruit-forward wines, a land with a soil that supports the best native red wine grape varieties and that enjoys an optimum mesoclimate. Most vines here grow from the highlands of the Sierra de Cantabria down to the Ebro River on southern-facing slopes the calcareous sediment of the hills makes the soil ideal. Rioja Alavesa was one of Spain`s pioneering regions in the barrel-aging of wines, and Viña Real was one of the first to make crianza wines in this area.
Cune has been a long time staff and customer favorite from Rioja. Over the years we have had the privilege of tasting their Gran Reservas as far back as the 50’s. Our reactions are always the same, we ooh and awe, treasuring every sip.
- Item #: i_383197Bottle Size: 750ml100% Tempranillo
This is another well-made youthful Rioja from higher-altitude vineyards in a very good vintage. It has a juicy, medium-bodied palate with subtle, good quality oak coming through as a hint of vanilla and a clean, fresh finish that is lightly warming with a touch of lingering ripe fruit skins.
- Item #: i_380463Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsWINE ADVOCATE 92 POINS + - "A similar blend of 65% Garnacha, 25% Cariñena and 10% Syrah resulted in a 2015 Salanques with higher ripeness and notably lower acidity, reflecting a much warmer and drier year. It's ripe and with lots of earthiness, mineral and characterful, with ripe fruit without excess, elegant tannins and a polished, sleek texture within the rusticity of the zone. 18,000 bottles were filled in March 2017."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Salanques comes from a steep, three-hectare vineyard located near the village of Poboleda. This deep ruby/purple colored beauty offers a stunning bouquet of blueberries, raspberries, violets, and hints of resinous herbs and flowers. Medium to full-bodied, with a light, graceful, elegant texture that just glides across the palate, It’s not huge, but has plenty of intensity and length."
- 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_379330Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94PRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
Tempranillo and Garnacha, with Mazuelo and Graciano.
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Complex nose with ripe black cherries, deeply integrated cedary oak, baking spices, dried flowers, leather, fresh tobacco and earthy notes. This is silky and mellow with long, laid-back tannins that deliver ripe dark plum flavors into a spicy and earthy finish."
Winemaker's Notes - "On the nose, it displays ripe, dark fruit, grape syrup, bitter chocolate and as it opens up, hints of spices such as pepper, vanilla and a little mountain scrub begin coming through. On the palate, it is balanced with a soft touch of acidity to give it good potential for cellaring. The attack is broad and long, with an evolution in the mouth which spreads silky and mineral sensations before concluding with sweet tannins which stilll have a lot of grip and will benefit from some time out for their full integration."
- Item #: i_380276Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95James Suckling: 98JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "This is an extremely powerful, confident wine. So young and so complex. Immaculate black cherries, plums and blackberries and deeply integrated, spicy oak that's super fresh. The power and build is staggering. It's so rich and so balanced with seamless plum-flavored tannins. Perfect!"
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "In the end, they also showed me the 2015 Torre Muga, even though the wine had only been in bottle for three months. There were no substantial changes in the way this was made—in provenance of the grape, the fermentation or élevage—even though they fine-tune the use of the oak in every vintage. I don't think I've ever tasted such a young and fruit-driven Torre Muga, and even though it felt a little dizzy from the recent bottling, it had great purity and such a structure and build that it is going to need some time in bottle. But this looks like a better vintage than the 2014."
- Item #: i_383774Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The Crianza and Reserva have been merged into a single 2015 Pago de Carraovejas, a case study of success in Spain showcasing the ripe and powerful style of Ribera del Duero with generous oak and concentration. It's a heady Tempranillo (complemented by some 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Merlot) with 15% alcohol and moderate acidity. A whopping 700,000 bottles and 14,000 magnums produced. The quality is impressive for the volume. A crowd-pleaser (in its style)."
- Item #: i_378544Bottle Size: 750MLPago de los Capellanes is one of our favorite Spanish wines and we have proudly carried it at Hi-Time for many years. Nestled deep in the heart of the Ribera del Duero region, "Pago's" vineyards only grow Tinto Fino or Tempranillo grapes, the variety indigenous to the region. "Pago de los Capellanes" (Land of the Chaplains) is named in honor of the clergy who were stewards of the property for centuries. This wine continues to impress, delivering outstanding quality and value. Tempranillo grapes are hand-harvested and aged in new French oak barrels (1 to 3 years) until they reach optimal maturity for blending.
- 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_381499Bottle Size: 750mlThe Bodegas Perez Pascuas winery is an exciting new discovery for us at Hi-Time. When we tasted the wines crafted by three brothers using estate grown Tempranillo grapes in Ribera del Duero, we were blown away! Their vineyard is located near the iconic Vega Sicilia winery and boasts head-trained vines grown at high altitude in soils composed of chalk and clay. The wines are aged in French oak barrels, lending additional complexity and texture. What sets these wines apart is their beautiful balance and finesse combined with purity of fruit. The “El Pedrosal” bottling over-delivers for the price point with delicious, fresh fruit while “La Navilla” is a single vineyard wine, which displays uncommon grace. When we tasted these wines, we knew we had to bring them into the store to share with you. Enjoy!
- Item #: i_380469Bottle Size: 750MLProducing this single varietal wine was somewhat controversial at the time. Other producers such as Vega Sicilia made their wines with Bordeaux varietals as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Fernandez soon gained international acclaim for his wines and other winemakers followed his lead and began making wine in the area. Pesquera’s style has remained the same over the years and continues to be a rich, powerful and fragrant wine with juicy dark fruit flavors. This wine pairs well with hearty dishes and is delicious to drink on its own.
As always, Pesquera has delivered a seamless, full-bodied delicious wine. Enjoy this iconic Spanish wine at a reduced price while you can.
Pesquera's bright red color reveals its youth and ample concentration. On the nose, the wine's intense bouquet reveals dark fruit framed by toasted oak aromas. Flavors of black cherry and plum are augmented by notions of spices and vanilla. On the palate, the smooth entry becomes lush with abundant ripe fruit and silky tannins. The presence of well-integrated oak complements the wine and leads to a refined, long-lasting finish.
- Item #: i_378110Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Really polished and fine with dark-berry, chocolate, cedar and spice character. Full body. Round and chewy tannins. Flavorful finish. Lovely length and focus. Drink now."
This modern style Rioja comes from the outstanding Roda estate, which, like Marques de Vargas, produces only reserva wines. This state-of-the-art winery strives to achieve the maximum potential of the Tempranillo grape. The wine is aged in French oak for just twelve months, with the remaining 24 months being spent in bottle. This is a markedly different approach to La Rioja Alta, and the result is stunning. Sumptuous, silky fruit bursts from the glass. Hand on heart, this is a magnificent example of a modern Rioja.
- Item #: i_378415Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 91 Points100% Tempranillo
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "…14 months in used French and American oak…serious notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, lead pencil, and spice box. Rich, medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, and elegant on the palate, it's a rock-solid, outstanding bottle of wine that has character as well as quality. Drink it over the coming 15+ years."
- Item #: i_380301Bottle Size: 750MLLike all the Telmo Rodriguez wines from Toro, Dehesa Gago is 100% Tinto de Toro (the local clone of Tempranillo). Dehesa gago Gago is picked by hand from bush vines, and fermented in neutral cement casks and stainless steel. It is then aged for 4-6 months in cement tanks.
The distinctive red soils produce a Tinto de Toro (the local clone of Tempranillo) with tremendous fruit concentration, ripeness, acidity, tannins and structure. Dehesa Gago is the wine Telmo has used to discover and understand the vineyards of Toro, a pure wine that showcases the fruit.
- Item #: i_379482Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 9577% Carinena (Carignan), 23% Garnacha (Grenache)
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "This red is exuberant and structured. Ripe yet focused flavors of raspberry, currant and kirsch mingle with savory herb, espresso and mineral notes, supported by muscular but well-integrated tannins and enough acidity to keep the heady flavors in balance. A statement wine, not for the faint of heart. Carignan and Garnacha. Best from 2020 through 2035."
A tribute to a village, its townspeople and its indigenous old-vines. The winery lies in the tiny village of Porrera in the highly-acclaimed appellation of Priorat. Here, the magnificent, century-old vineyard estates of Vall Llach are home to 60- to 90-year-old Cariñena and Garnacha vines.
The old vines naturally produce low yields, and Vall Llach reduces yields even further through careful vineyard management. Vineyards climb steep slate hillsides, receiving optimum sun exposure and little water, further concentrating the fruit. Lovers of rich and concentrated wines with dark fruit flavors will be thrilled with this one.