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
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: 12/9/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
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Bodega Casado Morales
2010 "EME" Graciano
Nearly opaque black ruby color. Delicate, fruity, nutty aromas of butter roasted nuts, dark berries, and chocolate toffee with a supple, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long blood orange, cedar bark, earth, and pepper finish with silky, fine, dusty tannins and light oak. An elegantly poised and delectable rioja that will be brilliant at the table.
Date Tasted: 10/9/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
210533
Valdevinas
2004 "Mirat" Reserve Ribera del Duero
Nearly opaque dusty garnet color. Mature, attractive aromas of baked berries, melted chocolate, delicate spices and herbs, and tamari with a creamy, racy, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length dried sour cherry, blood orange, and chocolate craisins and nuts finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and heavy oak. A fantastically rich, vibrant, and nuanced mature Spanish red wine.
Date Tasted: 6/22/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
210526
Majuelos de Callejo
2010 Reserva Ribera del Duero
Bright dark black garnet color. Lively, earthy, meaty aromas of berry soda bread, pickled watermelon rind, and beef bouillon with an oily, lively, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, medium-length chocolate berries and citrus peels, spice, nutskin, and cedar finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A rock solid Spanish wine with a funky, earthy edge that will excel at the table.
Date Tasted: 6/22/2015 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: 11/13/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
212476
Bodega Casado Morales
2007 Gran Reserva Rioja
Black garnet color. Lively, roasted, complex aromas of floral honeycomb, grilled nuts and peppers, and dark berry compote with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, medium-long creme brulee and earth finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and mellow rioja with an interesting honey smoke character.
Date Tasted: 10/9/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
210523
Palacio de Bornos
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Pale clear light bright straw color. Delicate, attractive, fruity toasty aromas of roasted almonds, peach tart, and fruit salad with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, subtle, medium-length lemonade, mossy earth, and olive finish with fruit, well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A lively and flavorful dry white wine that is sure to please.
93 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: 6/22/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
210528
Linaje Garsea
2011 Crianza Ribera del Duero
Dark bright black garnet color. Bright, buttery, nutty aromas of roasted walnuts, blueberry pie crust, and lentil with an oily, vibrant, dryish medium body and a warming, medium-long craisins, delicate spice, and sandalwood finish with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A tangy, appetizing red with a great savory character.
93 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: 6/22/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
210933
Protos
2010 Reserva Ribera del Duero
Black garnet color. Bright, buttery aromas of almond brittle and berry tart with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, distinctive, medium-length chocolate, craisin, mocha nuts, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A silky, flavorful red that is a pleasure to drink.
93 points $49.99
Date Tasted: 6/29/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
210422
Muga
2011 Reserva Rioja
Medium dull bronze color. Earthy, floral aromas of baked dark berries with a silky, bright, dry light-to-medium body and a warming, mint and dark chocolate finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. Nice bright fruit with fine tannins, well integrated oak, and classic Rioja style.
93 points $24.99
Date Tasted: 4/14/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab