Recent Wines from Spain

Recent Favorites from Spain

Spain is an incredibly diverse land for wine. You’ve got great whites from Rueda, heavy reds from Priorat and lighter and balanced wine from Rioja. I’m amazed at the value from Rioja available to us in the US. Particularly in the 10-15 dollar range, some of these wines are can’t miss. If you are looking for a lighter bodied red, Rioja is right up your alley. More tangy than pinot, Rioja typically is 90-100 percent Tempranillo, with some indigenous varietals such as Manzuelo sometimes blended in. Spain is currently suffering from a financial crisis, so many of their wines are priced below their actual value. Here are some of my recent favorite picks from Rioja below 20 bucks (many are below 15 bucks!):
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2006 Bodega Ondarre Reserva- Incredible value. Oak and red fruits on the nose. The palate has great depth with red currant, strawberry and red currant. Great balance with light tannins. Needs an hour of decanting. -90

2008 Bodega Ondarre Reserva- This is their newer release. Oak with cran-raspberry on the nose. Palate has bright acidity with orange peel, red cherry and cranberry flavors. Needs roughly an hour of decanting.- 91

2006 Bodega Olarra “Cerro Anon”- Unlike many wines from this vintage, this is wine drinks great out of the bottle and doesn’t require decanting. Oak, cranberry and flowers on the nose. The plate has plums, sour cherry, dried dark fruits and mushroom. Interesting interplay between red fruits and black fruits. Fantastic value. -93

2006 Bodega Olarra “Anares”- Deep and rich color, almost reminiscent of a Cab or Merlot color. The nose has cranberry, raspberry, flowers and mushroom. Heavy oak as well. The palate has raspberry, cranberry, orange peel and some mulling spices with vibrant acidity. Incredible bargain, decant for an hour before drinking. -92

2005 Bodega Conde de Valdemar Reserva- Red fruit on the nose like cranberry and cherry with some oak. Palate has red cherry, guava, cranberry and cinnamon. Slightly oaked with strong acid backbone. Very nice. -91

2006 Bodega Conde de Valdemar Reserva- Muted nose, needs more than an hour to open up. More earthy tones on the nose, like mushroom with the oak. Palate has light tannins with cranberry and red cherry. Lighter bodied than the ‘05 and reflective of a lesser vintage. -89

2008 Dinastia Vivanco Crianza- One of Wine Spectator’s top wines for 2012, this wine has a perfumed nose of flowers, strawberry and raspberry. The palate is light-bodied and smooth, lacking some depth. Red cherry and cranberry surround vibrant acidity. Great balance. -90