About Spanish Wine

Spain today ranks as the third largest wine producing nation, trailing only France and Italy in the category. Vineyards are planted in numerous regions throughout the country and recently tens of thousands of acres have been planted in the La Mancha region, not far from Madrid in the middle of Spain.

There are many different types of Spanish wines, ranging from the highly popular and enjoyable sparkling wines known as Cava; these well made wines are reasonably priced. Albariño, a dry, aromatic white from northwestern Spain, has become very popular in the US market, especially as a food wine with Asian or fusion cuisine.

Of course, Spain is best known for its red wines. Historically the most famous and highly regarded reds have been from Rioja, but as of late reds from Ribera del Duero and Priorat have helped boost Spain's identity as a country of superior red wines.

Finally, there are sherries of exceptional quality in various degrees of dryness and sweetness; these are among the world's greatest and most popular fortified wines.
Top Picks for Spain
215140
Burgo Viejo
2012 "Licenciado" Reserva Rioja
Bright nearly opaque medium violet color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of boysenberry tart a la mode and mocha gelato with an vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-length spiced cherries, toffee, and cedar finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fantastically flavorful, supple, and vibrant Rioja.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216794
Castillo de Albai
2011 Reserva Rioja DOC
Garnet black color. Toasty, complex aromas and flavors of buttery nut brittle, dark chocolate, spiced berries, and sarsaparilla and leather with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and an effortless, stimulating, medium-length caramel apple, nuts, earth, and menthol mint finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A delightfully balanced and flavorful Rioja.
94 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213526
El Guardian
2007 Gran Reserva Rioja DOC
Dusty ruby color. Delicate, woody aromas of cedar, waxy honeycomb, marinated dried cherries and olives, and peppered nuts with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length nuts, earth, and oak finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A very nice mature Rioja.
94 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217614
Casado Morales
2009 Gran Reserva Rioja DOC
Cloudy garnet black color. Earthy, spicy aromas and flavors of dried berries, wintergreen, menthol tobacco, and chocolate nuts with a silky, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length spiced tomato, cedar, and nutskins finish with woody tannins and moderate oak. A rich, spicy, cellarable Rioja with an intriguing wintergreen note.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217588
Bodegas Escudero
2008 Vidau Rioja DOC
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate coconut macaroon, blackberry pie a la mode, and delicate spice with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long sour cherries and craisins, nuts, and leather finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A supple and inviting Rioja that begs another sip.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217587
Bodegas Escudero
2008 Arvum Rioja DOC
Violet color. Toasty, tropical aromas and flavors of toasted coconut, berry pie, toffee, and slate with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length sour cherries and berries in cream, nutskin, and oak finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A silky, sumptuous Rioja for now or later.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216821
Burgo Viejo
2011 "Licenciado" Reserva Rioja DOC
Garnet black color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of dried and baked berries, pistachio nougat, spice cake, and cherry cola with a silky, lively, fruity medium body and a tingling, subtle, medium-long chocolate mint and almonds, menthol tobacco, caramelized lime and tomato, and dusty earth finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A wonderfully spicy and herbal Rioja with a great range of flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213135
Campo Viejo
2010 Reserva Rioja DOC
Bright medium burnt sienna color. Fruity, earthy toasty inviting aromas of spiced black cherries, mulberries, blonde tobacco, and cedar with a vibrant, dry full body and a smooth, medium-long finish with firm, fine, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak.
93 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216824
Bodegas Soledad
2015 Solmayor Uclés DO
Deep purple color. Toasty, fruity, attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate toffee, huckleberry pie, and coffee gelato with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long spiced apple and nectarine, nutskin, cedar shavings, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A lively, fruity, well structured tempranillo for now or later.
92 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216828
Carmine
2014 Monastrell
Ruby color. Pure, fruity aromas and flavors of huckleberry jam, dried choke cherry, and clover honey with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, engaging, medium-length pomegranate chutney and prune finish with well-integrated, crunchy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant, chewy Spanish red that will be great at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab