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_382502Bottle Size: 750mlVINOUS MEDIA 90 POINTS - "Bright straw-yellow. Mineral-tinged orange zest, pear and jasmine scents are complemented by a subtle touch of quinine. Shows very good clarity and tension to its juicy citrus and orchard fruit flavors, which deepen slowly on the back half. Lingers with strong persistence, leaving floral and orange notes behind. (All stainless steel.)"
- Item #: i_378696Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 92Decanter: 92 Points55% 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, 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_380789Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92PRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "Light, greenish yellow. Sharply focused Meyer lemon, poached pear and honeysuckle aromas are lifted by a smoky mineral nuance and a spicy ginger flourish. Silky and sharply delineated on the palate, offering vibrant orchard and citrus fruit flavors that unfurl slowly with aeration. Shows outstanding depth as well as finesse, finishing sappy and impressively long, with resonating floral, mineral notes and a sexy floral nuance."
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Orange and cherry blossom feature in prominence here, while apricots and peaches take a supporting role. The medium-bodied and waxy palate really takes off as soon as you notice the electrifying acidity that this boasts. Medium-long on the finish. "
While Parker compares this wine to Grand Cru Chablis, we think it's more like some beautiful Spanish re-working of classic Meursault. Either way, it's delicious and unlike nearly any other Spanish white which leads to fanicful, far-away comparisons. The nose begins with honey and perfectly ripe pears complimented by waves of nutmeg and baking spices that build in richness and explosive flavors. Avancia is one of Jorge Ordonez's terroir discoveries. Jorge hunted out and acquired parcels of old-vine Godello planted between 1904 and 1910 in hard-scrabble hillsides of slate and quartz. A touch of oak is part of the style here, but to better frame these wines, Jorge looked to Didier Dagueneau and his famed Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs rather than Burgundy. Dagueneau had specially formulated barrels that were more than twice the size of a standard barrel, but also aged for much longer as wood staves in the open air before the final barrel was made and toasted-the end result is subtler and marries better with medium bodied whites. When Jorge started planning to make this style of white wine, the waiting list for Dagueneau's special barrels was years long. No matter, Jorge "cut in line" when a very famous Sonoma producer refused a few of Dagueneau's prized barrels at the cellar-door. Jorge Ordonez bought them on the spot and paid to fly them from California to Spain. "
- 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_380664Bottle Size: 750mlArzuaga’s 2017 La Planta is 100% Tempranillo aged for 6 months in seasoned French and American oak. Dark ruby-colored, it reveals aromas of damp earth, violets, spice box, and black cherry. This leads to a forward, supple-textured wine with plenty of ripe fruit, and a finish with no hard edges. Drink it over the next 4 years.
- Item #: i_381064Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "The vanilla and walnut character is strong here with dark-berry and chocolate undertones. Medium to full body. Flavorful finish. A little tannic, but solid. Drink now."
- Item #: i_383458Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Decanter: 93 PointsPRACTICING ORGANIC
We love the wines of Raul Perez, not only because they walk the appetizing line between fruity and savory, but because they are like impressionist landscapes of their home. Over the last 15 years Raul Perez has gained a strong following because of his prolific 'vinography', including wines that explore the growing areas near his hometown of Valtuille de Abajo in the region of Bierzo. Bierzo is a departure from the inland valleys and Mediterranean coast as it's distinctly cooler and wetter due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, though well protected from storms, nestled in a mountainous amphitheater. Naturally, distinct varieties of grapes thrive here, dominated by Mencia for red wines, whose style roams the spaces between Cote de Nuits Pinot Noir, Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, and Northern Rhone Syrah depending on the character of the vintage and site.
Mr. Perez's winemaking philosophy is very classical, involving harvesting from old, mixed variety vineyards in which he practices organic farming, with native yeast fermentations that proceed leisurely as the whole grape clusters slowly break down; he then leaves the juice in contact with skins for long periods (a total of 1-3 months!) to gently extract the right amount of flavor and texture for the desired style. Aging takes place in older, used barrels that provide slow oxygenation without covering those carefully developed flavors with oak. Raul also avoids adding sulfites, a risky choice in winemaking, but for him it's a requirement.
This is a great introduction to the wines of Bierzo and Raul Perez and is priced to buy a case of while it lasts! Decanter gave this wine 93 points and describes it as having "bright, fresh blueberry and cranberry fruit with a rasp of tannin and a savory, saline sign-off" and the Wine Advocate summarizes it as "clean, floral...produced in a fresh and very drinkable way. This is one of the best values from Bierzo and Spain." A perfect wine to serve cool as the weather warms!
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The clean, floral and 2017 Ultreia Saint Jacques comes mostly from old vineyards from different soils in Valtuille and Villadecanes fermented in stainless steel and oak vats with part of full clusters and matured in used barriques for one year. It's produced in a fresh and very drinkable way. This is one of the best values from Bierzo and Spain, and a great introduction to Bierzo. It's a more serious wine than what the wine was when it was first produced, fresh and elegant. It's very reliable and a great value."
DECANTER 93 POINTS - "A field blend of Mencia, Alicante Bouschet, Pan y Carne and some white varieties, fermented with natural yeast in old oak tanks using 100% stems and no temperature control. It undergoes malo in tank and then spends one year in old barrels. There's no remontage or pigeage, and he works without sulphites. This has bright, fresh blueberry and cranberry fruit with a rasp of tannin and a savoury, saline sign-off."
- Item #: i_306230Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A super brambly red that has abundant rich and ripe, dark berry and cherry aromas. The palate is a riot of fresh dark berries and delivers a very plush, sweetly spiced, powder-dry finish. Drink or hold."
Winemaker 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_385001Bottle Size: 750mlPRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
"A field blend of garnatxa blanca vines of 40-80 years old are picked early by hand to preserve acidity. A spontaneous native yeast fermentation in used 500L barrels and tinajas (amphora) is followed by a 4-month maceration on the skins in the same vessels." - De Maison Selections
- Item #: i_380113Bottle Size: 750MLPRACTICING BIODYNAMIC & ORGANICALLY FARMED
We are so excited that another dynamite vintage of Petalos has just arrived. Think burgundy with a hint of Northern Rhone syrah.
During the late 1980's, Alvaro Palacios traveled his native Spain selling French barriques to winemakers. But his journeys had a second purpose: to find the best place to achieve his goal of making Spain's greatest wines. Alvaro wanted-incredibly steep hillside vineyards, distinctive terroirs and, most importantly, ancient vineyards of Mencia—a unique red grape believed to be brought by French pilgrims during the Middle Ages. Meanwhile, his nephew Ricardo Perez had finished enological studies in Bordeaux and was traveling across France-absorbing everything he could about great wines. He worked the harvest at Chateau Margaux, and did internships at other Bordelais firms like Moueix (Petrus, Trotanoy, etc.). He also visited Alvaro frequently and came to share a belief in Bierzo's potential. In 1998, the two decided on a joint venture and set out in search of the region's finest old vineyards. Alvaro and Ricardo found promising sites in a number of villages but shortly came to believe that the greatest potential lay in a little town on Bierzo's western border named Corullon. Old vineyards lined the precipitous hillsides there, and the local soils were extremely poor-composed mostly of schist-but with incredible diversity. The minute variations in soils and exposures across this zone immediately reminded the two of Burgundy's Cote d'Or, or Piedmont's Langhe hills. In Corullon, Alvaro and Ricardo believe they have found a unique combination of soils, old vines, and a distinctive variety that will yield their own grands crus.
This beautiful wine is delicate with highly suggestive floral aromas displaying violets and dried roses along with hints of black fruit and roasted coffee. With it's Pinot Noir-like quality, it's medium body and velvety texture evokes notions of ripe black fruit on the palate and mineral undertones. Tannins are soft and well integrated, good acidity and a kiss of smokiness on the finish.
- Item #: i_376575Bottle Size: 750mlPRACTICING ORGANIC FARMING
This winery, founded in 1973, is currently run by Gerardo Mendez. Gerardo owns 5 hectares. Three hectares are over 50 years old and one is 200 years old. The vineyards follow organic guidelines avoiding the use of pesticides and non-organic fertilizers. Utilizing the latest technology, Gerardo blends the traditional with the modern to produce lively, crisp wines true to their origin. There are two wines produced at the property. The first Albariño Do Ferreiro and the second, produced in very in very limited quantities is Ferreiro Cepas Vellas. The Cepas Vellas is from the vineyard that is 200 years old. These vines are planted on a hillside vineyard of mainly sandy composition that predates any other vineyards in Rias Baixas. The Albariño Do Ferreiro is also from a hillside vineyard greatly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean climate.
- Item #: i_380784Bottle Size: 750MLWinemaker Peter Sisseck has already been pushing the limits of top-end Ribera del Duero but has also, for some time, dreamt of capturing the soul of Ribera through a new project named after the twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet. In 2006, he began working with a select group of growers willing to convert their old vines vineyards into organically- and ultimately biodynamically farmed sites with the goal of unleashing the potential of Ribera by creating the purest expression possible.
- Item #: i_383406Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94ORGANICALLY FARMED
60% Garnacha Fina & Peluda, 30% Syrah, 10% Carinena
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "I love the licorice accents here, which work so well with the overtones of blueberries, citrus, boysenberries and brambles. Firm and tight on the taut palate, which is medium-bodied and so lithe and restrained. Clear-cut and precise. Drink now."
The winemaking is traditional with some modern improvements: the grapes are grown organically, then kept cold before being fermented with native yeast, and ageing takes place in medium-sized French oak barrels that are more appropriate for Garnacha. The “Via Edetana” was the ancient Roman road leading from the Mediterranean coast of Catalonia to inland Zaragoza, passing through Bodegas Edetaria’s home of Gandesa.
- Item #: i_377064Bottle Size: 750mlWe always look forward to any new release from any of the Gil Family Estate wineries-- their group of small family wineries, scattered throughout the Spanish geography, have an excellent track record with our staff, customers and palates.
The nose is filled with berry fruits: raspberries, black cherry and a mixed berry reduction. Warm notes of incense and cedar add depth as notes of spring flowers and garden soil round out the mix. The palate reiterates the berry fruits, with flavors of boysenberry, cherry lambic and cherry vanilla cola that are uplifted by vibrant, lively acidity, keeping the wine light on its feet. Light tannins make an appearance toward the finish as waves of violets and purple fruits, forest floor and dark tea balance out the sweet fruits, lending complexity and a more kaleidoscopic flavor profile.
This is fantastic wine that will brighten any holiday gathering or any day of the week that ends with a 'y'...
Enjoy solo or with rice, pasta, (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni), vegetables, mushroom, stewed meat, sausage, pork, roast meat, red and/or white meat with sauces, grilled meat, short or medium cheeses. 70% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Item #: i_381426Bottle Size: 750ml60% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet-Sauvignon & 10% "Purple/black colour, it proffers a nose of Syrah
graphite, earth notes, spice box, black fruits, and a hint of balsamic. It opens in the glass to reveal excellent density, savory flavors, plenty of spice, and a lengthy, pure finish. It will evolve well for 2-3 years and drink well for many years." - from the Winery
- Item #: i_382525Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "“Os Pasás” is a place in Paixón, in the village of Arnoia, and it's also where the white 2017 Viña de Martín Os Pasás gets its name. This is a blend of 70% Treixadura, Albariño, Lado and Torrontés from different 10- to 20-year-old plots on granite soils that yield two kilos of grapes per plant. It's kept in stainless steel for one year, including three months in contact with the lees. It has a very clean and defined nose, with subtle aromas, elegant rather than explosive, a little shy with white flowers and river stones. The palate is delineated and clean, with great purity, focused flavors and a long, lingering finish with a dry, stony sensation. "
JOSE PASTOR SELECTIONS - "Luis Rodriguez established his bodega in 1988 with the philosophy to make terruño (aka terroir)-driven wine from indigenous grape varieties, grapes like Treixadura and Caiño that were on the verge of extinction at the time. He makes wine in the same cellar as his grandfather, where he utilizes native yeasts, judicious SO2, and practices élevage in mostly used, larger French oak barrels.
The grapes for Os Pasas Blanco come from steep, terraced hillsides and is comprised of mostly Treixadura, a variety known for producing delicate, peachy, and flinty wines ideal for blending with the higher acid grape varieties like Albariño and Lado, and the floral Torrontés. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented spontaneously with native yeasts in steel vat, and raised on the lees in vat for 10-12 months. It is a fresh light to medium-bodied vinho branco with beautiful structure and subtle flavors of citrus, honey, and seashell minerality."
- Item #: i_382535Bottle Size: 750mlORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES & PRACTICING BIODYNAMIC
From 30 year old vines, fermented with wild yeasts in stainless-steel vat with malolactic fermentation, and raised on the lees for 12-18 months in vat. This is one of the most singular and soil-driven Albariños from Rías Baixas. The result is a mineral-laden, beautifully aromatic, and textured wine that improves with time. Pure, distilled granite in Miguel Alfonso’s words. Perfect to pair with any fresh seafood.
- Item #: i_380887Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 95JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "A chunky and pretty young wine with blueberries and blackberries and chocolate. Chewy tannins that are polished and fresh. Full-bodied. Round and sexy. Shows lots of potential."
- Item #: i_380459Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95ORGANICALLY GROWN GRAPES & BIODYNAMIC PRACTICES
Rafael Palacios began his wine project in Valdeorras in 2004, purchasing mature vineyards of the indigenous Godello variety from older local growers. His previous experience in the area as a consultant had motivated him to try and recuperate the unique sub-zone of the Bibei Valley in the Municipality of O Bolo - characterized by its granite soils. The extreme topography and the low productivity of the soil had led to the almost complete abandonment of grape production in this tiny but historic county, cultivated traditionally on terraces.
"It is not cheap but I think it can easily hold its own against white burgundies selling at the same price. It had the structure and precision of a particularly fine Puligny-Montrachet but has its own very distinctive mountainous and, I'm afraid, mineral character. As well it might for it was grown on stone rather than soil, to judge from the pictures, on decomposed granite at 620 to 780 m above sea level. Old Godello vines are very rare since the variety had to be nursed back to proliferation as recently as the 1980s, but Palacios claims that the vines that provide this stunning wine are between 35 and 92 years old." JANCIS ROBINSON
- 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_381594Bottle Size: 750mlThe colour of the wine is a very pale lemon; the nose contains hints of stone fruit, asparagus and pepper. The palate is what really grabbed my attention, with multi-layered texture and a fabulous nuttiness which adds weight, depth and richness. The finish is long and opulent.