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_377592Bottle Size: 750mlGUIA PENIN (PENIN GUIDE OF SPANISH WINES) 94 POINTS
Bodegas Alto Moncayo is a winery located in the area covered by the Campo de Borja Denominación de Origen (DO, wine quality standard). It was founded in 2002 with the aim of turning it into a world reference for Garnacha wines of the highest quality, prepared from native vine clones.
‘Alto Moncayo’ is the flagship of the winery (though they make a special wine above this called "Aquilon"). It is also another single-grape variety of Garnacha, from vines between 40 and 70 years old, aged in new barrels for 20 months. It has a remarkable complex nose, with balsamic aromas, redolent of black fruit, roasted notes and a very good structure in the mouth.
- Item #: i_378524Bottle Size: 750MLBodegas Alto Moncayo is a winery located in the area covered by the Campo de Borja Denominación de Origen (DO, wine quality standard). It was founded in 2002 with the aim of turning it into a world reference for Garnacha wines of the highest quality, prepared from native vine clones.
‘Veraton’ is the third wine we produce from the Garnacha grape, from vines between 30 and 50 years old, and aged in barrels for 16 months. It is a wine with an attractive collection of balsamic notes, of chocolate and black fruits, very warm in the mouth and an extremely pleasant finish.
- Item #: i_378696Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 92Decanter: 9255% Garnacha & 45% Carinena
DECANTER 92 POINTS - "Luxurious aromas of plums, violets and cedar with delicious red fruit quality. Palate is fresh, with nice concentration and soft tannins."
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Enveloping black-cherry and blueberry aromas, but also notes of licorice and smoke. A bold and powerful Priorat with discreet oak and plenty of freshness. The tannins are supple and beautifully integrated, the finish generous and polished."
While originally conceived of as a value wine, Les Terrasses "Velles Vignes" has slowly evolved into the essence of what makes Priorat special. Drawing on 15+ years of study, Terrasses is sourced from many of the region's steepest and oldest vineyards-many of them north-facing to avoid the intense afternoon sun. With the 2007 vintage, Alvaro acknowledged Les Terrasses' "graduation" by adding the "Velles Vignes" designation to the label.
The son of the owners of Rioja's Palacios Remondo, Alvaro Palacios spent his early 20s working and studying winemaking outside of Spain. His experience abroad - particularly in Bordeaux - instilled in him a deep passion for great wines and led him to return to Spain. With the ambition to make wines that could be world-class. To achieve this dream, Palacios was drawn to the historic hillsides of slate soil and its traditional grape varieties of Garnacha and Carinena. Now widely considered to be among the more important new Spanish wineries in a generation, Alvaro Palacios embodies the spirit of "The New Spain."
- Item #: i_377848Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Impressive, rich, dark-cherry and blackberry aromas with nicely cut oak influence. The palate has a sleek, smooth-honed feel with such impressive freshness and depth. Stunning, vibrant finish. 100% tempranillo from several plots around Laguardia. Drink or hold."
Located in the heart of Álava (in the Rioja Alavesa region), Artadi owns 83 hectares of vineyards planted in soils with a wide geological diversity. Clay, gravel and limestone primarily compose this particular balance of nutrient-poor soils with varying microclimates. These unique vineyard sites give singularity to the wines, whose most notable qualities are transparency of fruit and finesse of tannins.
This is Artadi’s entry-level ‘village wine’ of the village of Laguardia, made from twenty-to-thirty year-old selected vineyards located in the plots of San Martín, Las Ventas, Paulejas, San Julián, Santa Águeda, Castejones, Majadales, Ribaltayo Viejo
- Item #: i_380598Bottle Size: 750mlBurghound: 91James Suckling: 91GUIA PENIN 92 POINTS - "High, cherry-colored depth with a ruby rim. Explosive notes of red and black fruit, fig preserve, hints of toast, Arabica coffee, toffee, spices, menthol and a dash of violets. Bold, meaty and full-bodied, yet a suprising freshness. Good acidity and round through under-ripe tannins give tension and complexity. Long finish."
JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS - "Dark fruit with dark tea and hints of mahogany on the nose. Full body. Dense and very rich with walnut and gum-tree flavors. Juicy finish. A rich and decadent wine."
- Item #: i_381799Bottle Size: 750ml100% Garnacha (Grenache)
A Hi-Time staple! Full-bodied and softly textured with floral, fruity, and spiced character along with toasted accents.
WINERY NOTES - "Hand harvested from very old vineyards, “Monte Alto” and “La Sarda”. These vineyards are located on very arid slate soils on the slopes of the Iberian Mountain range, close to its highest peak, El Moncayo. Aged on its lees in new French oak barrels for 4 months."
- Item #: i_382032Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92PRACTICING ORGANIC & BIODYNAMIC FARMING
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Mauro, from a very challenging year, feels like a real triumph over the conditions of the harvest, as they had some zones where they didn't have any frost. The wine feels complex and with moderate acidity. Furthermore, they now use 4,000-liter oak foudres for the élevage of part of the wine. This some tannins, and it has grip and balance, a chalky texture and a dry, serious finish. They did shorter macerations and managed to keep the freshness."
Incisive fruitiness, concentrated, creamy and packed with aromas. Opulent, full-bodied and precise on the palate with energy, vitality, balanced acidity, and juicy tannins.
- Item #: i_382927Bottle Size: 750mlGrape Variety: 93% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, 2% Garnacha
A wine with strength, young, with many things to tell but with the fresh voice of the youth. Very pleasant to drink, easy to blend it with food and especially delicious and fresh. Black cherry, tobacco, toast and mineral flavors mingle in this focused red, with light, firm tannins and crisp acidity. Supple, fresh and balanced.
- Item #: i_377633Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91We have featured wines from Volver before and assuredly will do so again. The quality in the bottle is obvious and the value found, upon tasting, is unmistakeable. Great wine for a great price.
The nose is filled with mixed florals, spice, cacao and dark berry fruits. Upon tasting, the fruits reposition to red (plum, raspberry, loganberry) with continued spice, a touch of cherry vanilla and black tea, all bolstered by excellent balance: easy-going tannins and moderate acidity.
The project of Bodegas Volver was founded in 2004 by Rafael Cañizares. The pillars of the bodega are based on the repositioning of quality Spanish wines and recovering old indigenous vineyards which, either through low production or lack of generational succession, had been lost.
Their most prized asset is their “...heritage of vines between 30 and 90 years old, indigenous varieties cultivated in a sustainable way with minimal intervention.”
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Round and polished, this red delivers expressive ripe raspberry, blackberry, mocha and spice flavors, with firm acidity and fresh acidity that imparts liveliness. Bold, in the modern style. Drink now through 2024. 5,000 cases made, 1,000 cases imported."
- Item #: i_382231Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94Wine marketing departments like to throw the word "bold" around a bit loosely these days. For the 2017 Valderiz from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, it's a fitting descriptor. It's both intense in flavor and mouthfeel, with an extra-full body, and can stand up to the bolder flavors of the grill. After giving it time to open up, the wine has concentrated dark-fruited flavors including blackcurrant, plum cordial, plenty of creamy vanilla, and subtle woodsy spice, but stops short of being too sweetly fruited. There is also plenty of mouth-filling, grippy tannin from the glass-staining skin extract and oak, and though it softens up a bit with air, this feature is a plus with protein-rich dishes. What really separates this from the average big and bold wine out there is the level of depth, and that the components all work together harmoniously.
Coming from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, the star of this wine is the local version of Tempranillo called Tinta del Pais, with thicker skins compared to the types found in Rioja. The differences feel appropriate in its home on the plateaus above the Duero river valley in central Spain, where the moderating Mediterranean influence has given way to a more dramatic continental climate.
The dry sunny summers make it easier for Bodega Valderiz to farm organically (they don't use any systematic synthetic pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers). The wines are fermented with the native yeast and they don't add enzymes to help the process along, contrary to conventional commercial winemaking. Neither filtered nor fined, the taming of this wine comes the old-fashioned way: through 2 years of aging in French and American oak barrels.
Although Bodega Valderiz was founded in 1997, winemaking is a family tradition involving at least 7 generations. Tomas Esteban was the one who decided to make a bigger business of it, and in 1980 started to seriously expand his vineyard area using clippings from the family vineyards. When his sons were ready, they became the winemakers and Bodega Valderiz was officially born.
100% Tinto del Pais (Tempranillo)
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This full-bodied red is generous yet structured, featuring depth and balance. Ripe flavors of plum and currant mingle with cocoa, clove and mineral notes, supported by mouthcoating tannins and balsamic acidity. Harmonious and long. "
No artificial fertilizers or systematic chemical treatments in the vineyard. Fermented with indigenous yeast, with no additives such as acids, tannin, glucose, enzymes and so on. Aged in 80% French, 20% American oak (60% new, 40% once used).
- Item #: i_350152Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95This red made it into our Top Spanish Wines of 2020 because of its wonderfully expressive, early-drinking take on the extra full-bodied Priorat style. It has the pedigree, as it’s the 2nd wine to the world-famous Clos Erasmus. While sourced from the same organically farmed vineyards, it’s made in a distinctive way to create a softer style. The wines befitting the Laurel style are separated early on and aged in a very modern combination of oak, concrete egg, and clay amphorae for 16 months, creating a layering of textures and flavor sensations that arise from each container. In Priorat, there is a wider range of profiles available due to the range of varieties that this relatively new wine region is allowed. Laurel is a Grenache-driven wine that greatly contributes to the mouth-filling body and softness, accompanied by 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas and flavors are dark plum and black cherry with a classic, savory herbal quality like the garrigue of Rhone wines, and delicate French oak that contributes to a licorice note. The texture is one of the wine’s most notable features, with velvety ripe tannin that provides a soft finish.
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Laurel is a blend of the younger vines, some barrels that were declassified from Clos Erasmus and the remaining Cabernet Sauvignon, and in the low-yielding and dry 2017 vintage, it's 70% Garnacha, 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 15% alcohol. The wine fermented mostly in concrete and oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in a combination of oak vats, concrete, used barriques and amphorae for 16 months. They produce this to be approachable from the moment it's released. The 2017s feel very aromatic, open, expressive and young, quite primary, tender and juicy and surprisingly fresh for a dry, warm year that resulted in a very early harvest. There is a peachy, soft, approachable quality here that I like very much. Surprisingly enough, winemaker and proprietor Daphne Glorian sees reminiscences of the 2013s in the 2017s, and I have to agree. Different from 2016, but at the same quality level. 19,126 bottles were filled in May 2019."
- Item #: i_377354Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
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_378467Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Com Tu is a Garnacha from La Figuera, from white and red soils (with some more clay). It matured in old 4,000- and 5,000-liter oak vats for one year, a shorter élevage, as it's a lighter year. The fruit is a little riper, and the wine is juicy and has the austere tannins of the limestone soils. It reminds me of a Garnacha from Châteauneuf."
This is René Barbier of Clos Mogador's new project. This wine has been created by René Barbier senior, Anderson his adopted son from Haiti and Rene junior, his son. In search of a "little brother" for their flagship wine of Montsant, Espectacle ( retails for over $120) , it is in the village of La Figuera that René Barbier discovered this plot called "Mirarmar". Located a few hundred metres from Espectacle, the Barbiers worked together to market 2015 as the first vintage.
This is a very limited production with an allocation of 500 ( 6 packs) to the US.
- Item #: i_381966Bottle Size: 750mlClos Nelin is the property of Rene Barbier of Clos Mos comprised of four parcels totalling 10 hectares on llicorella soil located close to the village of Gratallops. The wine is a blend of 50% Garnacha Blanca and the rest Pinot Noir (blended as a white), Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Macabeo, Pedro Ximenez and Escanya Vella (a.k.a "old strangler"!). The wine is vinified in a combination of stainless-steel and concrete eggs, plus various sizes of oak barrel, where it spends nine months on its lees. The maiden vintage was 2000 and just 6,000 bottles are produced. Readers should note that the wine is now entitled simply "Nelin" rather than "Clos Nelin."
- Item #: i_382545Bottle Size: 750mlPRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
Here’s an exciting new producer from one of the most wild wine regions on earth, the Canary Islands! It’s an old vine red made from Listan Negro, one of the historic mission grapes carried by the Spanish colonists, grown up high on the windswept volcanic hillsides of Tenerife (an island closer to Africa than Spain). This charming Listan Negro starts with delicate floral notes, red pepper spice, flinty/stony mineral and blueberry before layers of plum, fig, chalk dust and lavender unfold lithely on the palate along with a certain medicinal iodine character, and an earthy rustic element that recalls the volcanic soils. This is not really like any other wine region and the wines are always unique, in some ways you see a similar quality to that of Mount Etna on Sicily, if you had to compare, but in many ways it would be unfair to do so, these are really soulful terroir wines in their own right.
A classic minimal-interventionist style, from the ageing in old Burgundy barrels, minimal use of sulfur dioxide, and unfiltered/unfined.
- Item #: i_378155Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92La Tremenda is an incredibly priced wine that conveys great purity of fruit coaxed from the arid soils of Alicante in south-east Spain by Bodegas Enrique Mendoza. This 100% Monastrell is compelling, offering lush fruit flavors with surprising complexity at a ridiculous price. It is made in a forward, crowd pleasing style that is so delicious. Luis Gutierrez of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate states the wine "represents a superb value and a great introduction to the Monastrell from Alicante; the price is hard to believe." We agree, this wine over-delivers with rich, full-bodied depth of flavor that is enviable.
The name "La Tremenda" references the name of the vineyard where the grapes are grown in Alicante near Valencia. The"secret" to this wines success lies in the very low yielding vines, which produce less than a ton of grapes per acre! This results in small, deeply colored Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) grapes with intense aromatics and concentrated fruit flavors. Our customers have previously discovered Spain's Monastrell grape and grabbed cases of wines by Tarima Hill, Juan Gil and Honoro Vera. La Tremenda is cut from the same full-bodied, juicy cloth, but shows perhaps a brighter, red fruit profile.
Previously, wines from this area were shipped to producers from other regions who used the Monastrell to "correct" wines which lacked color, body and flavor. Bodegas Enrique Mendoza was one of the first in the area to bottle their own high-quality single vineyard wines instead of selling it to others. This winery is one of a handful of producers who have formed Grandes Pagos de Espana, an association of Spanish wine producers dedicated to producing very high quality single estate wines. The wines faithfully reflect the soils and climate from which they come, offering an unmistakable personality that can only be drawn from a specific terroir in Spain's best vineyards.
La Tremenda is a satisfying wine which will appeal to those who enjoy wines with body and deep, pure fruit flavors. Best of all, this Monastrell is still under the radar and represents an incredible value.
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The pure Monastrell 2017 La Tremenda always represents great value and showcases the behavior of the grape in the Mediterranean climate and soil from Alicante. The grapes from 25-year-old vines fermented in small stainless steel vats, and the wine matured in French oak barrels for six months. There are notes of fresh fruit, rosemary and thyme, with clean aromas, open and expressive. The palate is juicy and round, and this is an entry-level red that represents the higher volume in the winery. This wine reflects the changes over the last seven or eight years: they do three tries of the harvest, and the first bunches tend to go to this wine. The well-seasoned barrels also go to this wine, and the vinification is much softer. The result is fruit-driven, with just a spicy twist. 2017 seems a lot cooler in the Mediterranean part of Spain than in most of the inland regions like Rioja, Ribera del Duero and so on. This is a bargain Monastrell."
- Item #: i_378921Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY FARMED & NO ADDED SULFITES
"El Aqueronte comes from a single namesake vineyard of 100% Mencía. The vineyard is full of life, with a huge diversity of flora that grows between the vines. The grapes are hand-harvested, with 1/3 left whole cluster, 1/3 destemmed and crushed, and 1/3 destemmed and crushed but the stems are included in the primary fermentation. Fermentation is initiated with wild yeasts in chestnut vat for 5-7 days with daily battonage, but no pumping over. The juice is taken off of the skins and stems before primary fermentation is finished and the grapes are pressed. The alcoholic and malolactic fermentations continue in chestnut vat where the wine rests for 10 months, before being bottled without fining, filtration, or added SO2. El Aqueronte is the most aromatic of Diego’s wines, showing a woven complexity of red fruits, florals, spice, and minerals. A supreme expression of Mencía and Bierzo terruño. " - JOSE PASTOR SELECTIONS
- Item #: i_381884Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES
From the Finca Las Suertes vineyard, first planted in 1885 is dry-farmed, with ungrafted vines due to the sandy soils. Fermented in large, seasoned French oak barrels, then aged 12 months on the fine lees in large barrels, with battonage for a creamy mouthfeel.
DECANTER - 92 POINTS
"Aromas of ripe orange and pear take on dusty mineral, vanilla and floral accents in the glass. Silky and broad on the palate, offering densely packed yet energetic citrus and orchard fruit flavors that firm up slowly on the back half. Emphatically fruity and seamless in texture, delivering excellent clarity, strong finishing thrust and lingering floral and mineral flourishes."
- Item #: i_378647Bottle Size: 750mlPrepared with Tempranillo grapes (100%), this wine has a very bright, intense maraschino cherry colour that fades to a Cardinal red rim.
It has a very marked aroma with a good balance of fruit and wood, where tones of vanilla intermingle with well-ripened fruit, black berries and wild fruits. There are also noticeable hints of leather and liquorice, resulting from the mingling of the French oak and the aromas inherent in this variety of grape.
In the mouth, the wine has a smooth texture but fills the palate with balanced flavours, including fine tannins, which help extend the life of the wine. The finish and aftertaste are both long and elegant.
- Item #: i_381049Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The single-vineyard 2017 Finca Dofí comes from ten hectares that were planted 20 years ago in the village of Gratallops. It's mostly Garnacha with 8% Cariñena and 1% white grapes that fermented after being destemmed and lightly crushed in oak vats with indigenous yeasts. It matured in large oak barrels (bocoyes and foudres) for 16 months. There is no trace of oak in the wines, and there are no edges; they all feel sleek and elegant. This Dofí expresses the Mediterranean vintage from this vineyard at 300 to 320 meters in altitude, where the slate has a lot of iron, which turns the soils red and makes round and velvety wines, with flavors of red cherries, cherry pit, nectarines and even blood orange. The warm soils are compensated by mostly northern exposures. The palate has volume and is juicy, sensual and velvety, with some fine-grained tannins that currently call for food. It makes for a very gastronomical red. 29,700 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2019. In 2018, there will be a separate bottling from one hectare of pure north-exposition grapes from Dofí, a new wine called La Baixada."
- Item #: i_385101Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91ORGANICALLY FARMED
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Pegaso Zeta is the first wine completely made with the help of winemaker Marc Isart and reflects the change in direction towards fresher wines with less oak, helped by the natural conditions of the vintage. This is floral and quite expressive, with fully ripe flavors from a vintage with a slow ripeness given the good yields. It has nice balance and great drinkability, with good citrus freshness, reminiscent of blood oranges that to me represent the bright red fruit and the citrus spark. It has the depth and complexity of great dry farmed wines that deliver great grapes. Delicious. There were 16,500 bottles produced and bottled in July 2018."
- Item #: i_379992Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 La Montesa is mostly Garnacha with some 8% other red varieties and comes from a warm and dry year that saw a very early harvest, up to 20 days earlier than usual. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in barrique for 12 months. It feels very Mediterranean, with notes of Mediterranean herbs and ripe berries. It's juicy and lush, round and very pleasant, easy to drink. 670,000 bottles produced and will be labeled organic, very remarkable for such volume. It was bottled in May 2019."
- Item #: i_382995Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92PRACTICING ORGANIC
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A fragrant, new-wave Rioja with ripe, red fruit and some floral notes. Excellent balance of bright fruit, polished tannins and mineral freshness on the long, energetic finish. A great lunch wine."
- Item #: i_383697Bottle Size: 750ml100% Garnatxa Fina (aka Garnacha aka Grenache)
This is a deliciously savory wine, medium-bodied but with a subtle chewiness to the crushed velvet and chalky tannin. Amongst the umami sensations is a plummy fruit with subtle spice like white pepper and herbs. This is wonderfully drinkable due to its uncomplicated nature, balance of it components, and elegant flow from start to finish.
"Sindicat La Figuera is a small co-operative in the Montsant Mountains founded in 1932, producing wines of brightness and integrity. One must navigate very narrow, winding roads up the mountainside to reach the town of La Figuera, which sits at 600m elevation and has a mere 80 residents. The town appears to rise up out of the peak of the mountain, with the surrounding mountains and the Priorat region in view in all directions. La Figuera is known for the beauty and elegance of their pure Garnatxa wines and is one of the few places where it is bottled on its own. Famed Priorat-based winemaker, René Barbier, also took note of La Figuera’s Garnatxa wines and decided to join forces with the members of the co-op to help with winemaking. Rene says that you can always tell when a wine is from La Figuera, because there is a unique limestone content in the soil that brings lightness to the Garnatxa.
Wines are fermented with wild yeasts in underground concrete tanks with minimum temperature control, where they spend around 9 months aging on fine lees before being bottled. " - Jose Pastor Selections