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: 3/31/2016 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: 12/9/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
212475
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
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
216282
Delgado Zuleta
NV Palo Cortado Sherry Spain
Light amber color. Toasty, fruity, nutty, savory aromas and flavors of bread dough, toasted almonds, salinity, and peanut brittle with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry full body and a warming, elaborate, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. This a wine that fuels the imagination in a nice way - to sip this in front of a wood burning fire.
Date Tasted: 7/8/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
214589
Don Miguel Comenge
2011 Reserva Ribera del Duero
Opaque bright dark color. Bright, creamy, fruity toasty aromas of black cherry cream (mazzard), blonde tobacco, pressed linen, and planked spiced cedar with a supple, lively, dry full body and a sleek, complex, medium-long finish with firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: 3/3/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
213525
El Guardian
2010 Reserva Rioja DOC
Dusty ruby color. Delicate, savory aromas and flavors of marinated cherries, olives and beets, chocolate nuts, sandalwood, and sautéed mushroom with a silky, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, blood orange soufflé, roasted sweet potato and beet, nutskins, and minerals finish with fine tannins and moderate oak. A savory, appetizing Rioja.
92 points $19.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: 12/9/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
216001
Marina
NV Espumante Alicante
Silvery emerald straw color. Floral, fruity aromas and flavors of honeyed peaches and apples, lychee, and honeysuckle with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, off-dry light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length lime curd and hint of chalk finish with no oak. A very fruity and refreshing off-dry sparkler that will be nice with spicy foods.
91 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: 7/11/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
215465
Gran Codorníu
NV Reserva Chardonnay Cava
Bright golden yellow color. Bright, fruity, toasty interesting aromas and flavors of coconut macaroon, baked mango, spiced Asian pear, and dried banana with a supple, lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, snappy reduced lemon and orange and hint of herbs finish with no oak. A robust, savory cava that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: 4/26/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab