I was fortunate enough to travel to Spain last year. The trip was a really amazing voyage, as I covered much of the country in two weeks. The wines of Spain are incredibly diverse, ranging from the inky wines of the Priorat to the ligher style wines of Rioja. There are excellent white wines as well. Here are the wines that I tasted in Spain. I have also listed how you can find them (some area easier to track down than others).
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2007 Bodega Roda Reserva.- Less than impressive vintage. Nice, dark color. Nose has smoked meats and oak. Palate is medium concentrated. Surprised that its that open. Oak and red cherry on the palate w maybe nutmeg and vanilla. Finishes smooth. Very nice effort from a Wine Spectator 86 pt vintage. -90 points *EASY TO FIND, look in wine shops or online.
2009 Placet Rioja Blanco- Nice hue, Sav Blancish. The wine was bought at a wine shop in Barca and was highly recommended. Almonds and cantaloupe on the nose. The palate is smooth and viscous. I get oak, some honey and almonds. Maybe a melon component as well, and a touch of butter. Finishes smooth. Very nice juice. -92 points. *Hard to find, might be available in specialty wine shops or online.
2007 Clos Mogador- this Priorat wine is esteemed and expensive. So when I saw it on the wine list at Bar del Pla (Barca) for 58 euros a bottle, basically at cost, I pounced on it. The wine is mostly Grenache and some Carignan. I was impressed by the blackberry fruit leather flavors. On the nose is smoke and Cassis with some oak. The palate is think and viscous w creme de Cassis, blackberry, cranberry and really nice minerality. Nice interplay between smooth and sour. Tastes like a great Bordeaux. The wine can sit for many years. Great concentration and a wonderful opportunity to drink one of Spain’s finest. -93 points *Relatively easy to find, most wine shops should have this wine.
2008 Zind-Humbrect Wintzenheim Gewurtztraminer- Deep, rich golden yellow color. Also dried mangos and peaches. The nose has so much going on. Slate and mushroom as well as pineapple from the botrytis. Fat on the palate but not a ton of acid which indicates short-term drinking. Pineapple, golden delicious apple and cinnamon with vanilla on the mouth. A touch of oak and botrytis in there. Long finish. Liquid candy and completely delicious. Given 93 Wine Spectator. -93 points *Not easy to find, possibly can order online or may find at a specialty wine shop.
1999 Marques de Grinon Enartis- From a less than esteemed vintage given only 81 Wine Spectator. This was recommended at Casa Montaña by the sommelier. Red and brownish color. Also some black licorice. Nice skunky nose. Good terroir. Came into its own after 30 mins. Getting red cherry, raspberry, smoked meats and plenty of oak on the palate. Balance and acid are there. Finished smooth. -92 points *Not easy to find. I have never seen this wine outside of Spain. Also websearch indicates that this is exceedingly difficult to find.
2007 Remelluti Rioja Blanco- Apparently given 94 Robert Parker according to the restaurant, it was recommended by the sommelier/restaurant owner. Cool to drink an aged Rioja. There is a nutty flavor and reminded me of green melon as well. Light hue, and has a translucent quality. The nose has fresh cut flowers and a grassy element with some mushroom. The palate has great acidity and I think this could sit for some time. Drinking like a Sav Blanc w grassy elements on the palate along with grapefruit. Maybe some lemon, too. Nice finish. Very solid- 90 points *Hard to find, check online or a specaility wine shop.
1998 Masia Carreras- Purchased at a wine store on close out and then brought to the Steakhouse. From Costa Brava near Girona. The blend is Grenache, Carianne and Tempernillo with Cab Sav and Syrah. Also dates, prune, smoke and black licorice. This is serious wine. There is just so much going on. There is incredible balance here with chocolate and smoke on the nose. The palate tastes like a great Bordeaux. It has kirsch, coffee, blueberry and cassis. Smooth and silky, this thing is ready to drink. This is one the best wines I’ve had in Spain. Not a long finish but acid is still there. Very memorable. -95 points *Nearly impossible to find, might check online, but limited info on this wine online.
2006 Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir- Given 93 Wine Spectator and 94 Robert Parker, this is serious wine. Obviously not a wine of Spain but one of the wines that I brought from home. Enjoyed at the apartment in Alicante. Might have some bottle shock as the wine needs time to open up. Mushroom, cherry and raspberry on the nose. Given 30 mins the wine opens up with cherry pie, nutmeg, vanilla, oak, strawberry and raspberry. Amazing smoothness as well as blackberry and nutmeg. It is smooth and silky to drink, similar to most of the premier wines from Argyle. Balance and depth are here. Finishes w red cherry and vanilla. -94 points *Hard to find, given this is an older wine. Check specialty wine shops or check online at the winery.
2006 Marc Palacios Les Terrasses- This Priorat wine is deep and dark. It is essentially a CDR with Grenache and Carignan. The palate has casis, sour cherry and raspberry with vanilla. Maybe licorice. Some tannins in there and good acid. Very nice, but not a spectacular wine. -91 points. *Moderately difficult to find, check online or a speciality wine shop.
NV Arcabucero Alicante Blanco- Bought for 3 Euros at an Alicante market. nose is coppery and some urine. Maybe some lemongrass too. Palate is diluted with some light acid, minerals and melon. Blasé but drinkable -81 points *Not easy to find and not recommended.
2012 Finca Ariadna Verdejo- From the Rusda region comes this wine bought for 5.95 Euros at the Alicante market. Light color, very Sav Blancish. Grassy nodes and grapefruit on the nose. The palate delivers with minerals, rose petals, slate, grapefruit with the effervescence. Smells like sparkling apple cider and tasted like pear and cantaloupe. Very pleasant wine. -88 points *Moderately difficult to find, check online.
2001 Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva Rioja- purchased for 15 euros at a grocery store in Valencia. Great year and given 90 Steven Tanzer and 92 Wine Enthusiast. I get cherry and vanilla on the nose w some oak. Palate is smooth with good balance and acid. Mostly red cherry, strawberry, as lighter fruits predominate with some oak. Would like better concentration for the vintage. Finishes smooth. -90 points. * Moderately difficult to find, check online.
2009 Numanthia Numanthia- given 94 Parker and 93 Tanzer, we had the incredible opportunity to try it at a restaurant in Madrid for about 50 euros, basically at cost (Arzábal). The wine needs 30 mins to unfold. Dark, brooding color. I get violets, creme de cassis and blackberry on the nose. Maybe some Christmas spice as well. Smells like a bakery and tastes like pumpkin pie, as well as holiday spice. The palate is extremely concentrated and rich. There is a striking minerality that comes through reminiscent of some great Napa wines like the Mondavi reserve Cab. Creme de cassis and blackberry mostly on the palate and there is a delicious pie crust taste as well. I get nutmeg in there. Tannic, this wine can age for 10 years. Neck and neck with Robert Mondavi reserve Cab here. Opulent wine. -96 points *Moderately difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop.
NV Gosset Champagne- Enjoyed on the airplane. Made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Menueir grapes, this wine was dry and had a fruity character. Some mustiness as well. Effervescent and smooth. -91 points * *Moderately difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop.
NV Mumm Champagne- floral nose. It is both smooth and dry. Getting some citrus on the palate like orange and grapefruit. Some creamy elements as well. Very smooth throughout but not a ton of complexity. -90 points * Easy to find, check any wine shop or online.
2008 Matrromera Crianza- A Ribera that I bought at a gas station for -18 euros on the way from Madrid to Bilbao. The wine was purchased because I noticed our single serving friends drinking the same bottle at the restaurant last night in Madrid. So I deemed this a must buy. Slightly translucent color. From an adequate, Wine Spectator 87, vintage, I get plum, blackberry and spice on the nose. The palate has great acid. There are a ton of mouth-watering flavors thatamalgamate. Cranberry, red cherry, nutmeg, cedar and a minty edge to the wine. Nice balance and acid, this is a very fine wine. Maybe blueberries, spiceand anise too. Saw after tasting that Wine Enthusiast only gave it 87. I think they’re wrong. -90 points *Moderately difficult to find, check online.
2012 Marques de Riscal Reuda Blanco- 100% Verdejo, it has some citrus on the nose. Orange blossoms too. The palate is light but lacks concentration. A bit watery. Slightly sweet. Some grapefruit in there and maybe some peach. -84 points. * Easy to find, check any wine shop or online. Costco may carry this wine as well. Barely recommended but a decent value.
2007 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva- 90 percent Tempranillo and the rest indigenous varietals, this wine is from a less than esteemed vintage. Lighter, somewhat translucent color. Slightly skunky nose. Maybe mushroom and some terroir. This wine is fresher and less skunky than the 2006. Palate is lacking concentration and has red cherry, strawberry and has nice acid. Nice balance but lacking concentration of other vintages. -86 points * Easy to find, check any wine shop or online. Costco may carry this wine as well. Good value.
NV Marques de Riscal Rosato- nice nose, reminding me of floral nodes and perfume. Maybe some citrus too. Palate is sweet and lacking some acid. Very pleasant and it has a marked simplicity. Orange and red cherry. Finishes w marchiano cherry. -86 points * Easy to find, check any wine shop or online. Costco may carry this wine as well. Good value.
2004 Marques de Riscal Gran Reserva- from an amazing vintage, this wine has a deep color. Nose is oaky and pruny. The palate has graphite and black fruits. The concentration is outstanding with the heavy oak. Tastes almost like a Cab. Great acid and minerality. It could easily cellar for 5 years. Delicious wine. -93 points *Hard to find, check a speciality wine shop or check online.
2007 Finca Torrea (Marques de Riscal)- this is an additional label for Riscal. The color is deep, but slightly lighter than the Gran Reserva. Nose is smoky. Less oak on the nose and I’m getting lighter fruits. Palate is smooth anddelicious. Less concentration than the Gran Reserva. Balanced and acid is there. Prune, raspberry, vanilla and oak. Maybe pomegranate? The palate just blends so well together. Maybe also cinnamon, chocolate and strawberry. Drinking well now, will have a long life. -92 points *Very difficult to find, check online.
2005 Bodega LAN Gran Reserva- Deep hue, the wine was purchased at the winery. From the esteemed vintage, given 93 Wine Spectator. Nice Christmas spice and light fruit on the nose. After 30 mins the wine is more expressive. Some blackberry and leather with oak. She noticed the richness and acidity. Smoked meats and few better in there. Maybe some oak and tobacco elements with some citrus as well. Too young to drink now but very enjoyable. I’d drink in 2 years with the nice acidity and smoothness. -92 points *Difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop.
2009 Ontanon Crianza- 90 percent Termranillo and 10 percent Garancha. Fairly deep color for a Crianza. Black tea on the palate with smoked meats, strawberryand nice minerality. A little hollow but good wine. Tannic and probably needs time w the acid here. -88 points *Difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop.
2003 Vina Tondonia- 100 percent Vidura, Crianza wine. Heavy oak on the nose w some light flowers. Palate is dry and smooth. Very fresh and balanced. Strong minerality and copper components. Not a blockbuster but very nice. Some tang, maybe green apple, as it has a sour component. -92 points *Very difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop.
2001 Vina Tondonia Reserva- 75 percent Tempranillo and 15 percent Grenache. Lighter color and beautiful nose with flowers and dried fruits with some oak. There is a mustiness in the nose. I get cherry and mushroom as well. Palate has good acid and balance. Maybe raspberry and red cherry. The wine is less concentrated than expected. Getting raspberry, strawberry and red cherry. Drinks a lot like a Bordeaux, a fresh style. Would like more depth. -90 points. *Very difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop.
2008 Bodega Roda Reserva- 90 percent Tempranillo. Dark color. More smoke and earth than the Crianza. Darker fruits like plum with red cherry and raspberry. Maybe pomegranate and cranberry. Good acid. Drinking pretty well now by has the acid for many years of cellaring. -92 points. *Easy to find, check any wine shop or check online
2009 Bodega Roda Sela- 89 percent Tempranillo and 12 months in oak. Similar to a Crianza the wine has a lighter color. The nose is spicy and sweet. Maybe some cherry and raspberry. Very smooth and open. Strawberry and raspberry with guava on the palate. Small citrus component as well. Maybe blackberry and fruit leather. Very nice. -90 points *Very difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop.
2006 Roda I- Darker color than the other Roda wines. Getting tar, cedar and mushroom on the nose. Definitely an earthy nose. Closed right now. The ’04 was also very closed when tasted a month ago. Better viscosity than the others, a nice thickness, especially for the vintage. Reminds me of a right bank Bordeaux. Raspberry and blackberry with cherry. Nice acid, this can cellar for a decade. Better in 5 years. -93 points *Moderately difficult to find, check online or a specialty wine shop. Costco has previously carried the Roda I but I have not seen it in Northwest Costcos for more than one year.