In recent weeks I´ve had the opportunity to participate in two of the most important wine events organized by Guia Peñin: the Hall of the Best Wines of Spain, in which 400 wineries presented more than 2,000 references that have obtained a score greater than 90 points in the Peñín Guide. And the IX Hall of the Stars: the most competitive Spanish wines in their quality/price ratio.
They were two fantastic days. Distributors and producers shared with me their passion and creativity for the complex and fascinating world of Spanish wine.
These are my discoveries, which I would like to share with you. I await your comments and suggestions.
The wines are organized alphabetically.
Price: 9.85 euros.
Grape type: Verdejo
Producer: Cuatro Rayas Winery
Production area: La Seca (Valladolid) / DOP Rueda
It is the first vermouth made with Verdejo grapes, to demonstrate the versatility of this century-old grape and bring the concept of vermouth closer to younger people. The grapes are harvested manually and 50% of the wine ferments in the barrel before adding the characteristic botanicals of this type of drink. Therefore it has more personality.
Its color is mahogany and its aroma is intense, with notes of scrubland such as thyme and rosemary.
Grape type: cabernet Sauvignon, callet
Producer: Bodega Cap Andritxol
Production area: Ví de la Terra de Mallorca
The only representative of Mallorca that I found, something surprising since I have always thought that very good wines are made on the island. This project is the paradigm of the international character of the island. A Russian entrepreneur in love with a farm is beginning to make her dream come true after a short journey of five years.
An elegant and summery red, very versatile made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Callet, the native Majorcan grape. They are looking for distributors in the peninsula since so far they mainly export to other European countries such as Russia and Germany.
Price: 20 euros.
Grape type: Tempranillo
Producer: Pradorey winery
Production area: Aranda de Duero / DOP Ribera de Duero
A red with character but at the same time light and elegant with its combination of red fruits and liquorice. A perfect mix between classic and modern that pays tribute to the brand’s founder, Javier Fernández de Adaro.
Price: 11 euros
Grape type: Palomino fina
Producer: Bodegas Barbadillo
Production area: IGP Cádiz
As de Mirabras is the fruit of the work of two years of selection of old vines from albariza land and old vines near the sea. In the winery the must ferments in stainless steel tanks. It is the perfect balance between a drier and sweeter wine with the characteristic saline touch of Cadiz wines. A good balance between fresh and complex.
Price: 12.75 euros.
Grape type: Garnacha 70% Syrah 30%
Producer: Bodegas San Alejandro
Production area: Miedes (Zaragoza) / DOP Calatayud
The older brother of another of my favorite wines, Baltasar Gracián Viñas Viejas, this wine adds the Syrah variety to the Grenache and is macerated for 15 months in French oak barrels. More complex and full-bodied, but not too intense with aromas of cloves and sweet fruit.
Price: 17.50 euros.
Grape type: Tinta de Toro
Producer: Frontaura winery
Production area: DOP Toro
I find especially interesting the wines of the DOP Toro, powerful and fruity at the same time. Frontaura & Victoria has aged for 14 months in French oak barrels and presents an aroma of red and toasted fruits, a product of the reddish soils and the lack of rainfall in the area.
Price: 12 euros
Grape type: Macabeo
Producer: Bodegas Frontonio
Production area: Alpartir(Zaragoza) / IGP Valdejalón
Any Frontonio wine is a safe bet, but this Macabeo white seems to me to have an unbeatable quality/price ratio. I also find it interesting to show that in the land of Garnacha you can make wonderful whites with native varieties. Made from old vines over 65 years old, it has mineral and acid notes of grapefruit and jasmine aroma.
Note: the 2018 vintage is not for sale yet. According to information from the winery, it could be available at the end of January or the beginning of February.
Price: 30 euros (vintage 2017)
Grape type: 100% Garnacha
Producer: Telmo Rodríguez Wine Company
Production area: DOP Cebreros (Ávila)
This wine, which is the most interesting of those I have found in the Cebreros PDO, is made on a hillside of old vines that had been abandoned next to a gorge. This type of soil is at a height of more than 950 meters, mainly facing East. It is an organic wine that has aged between 24 and 30 months in French oak barrels. Notes of wild herbs and minerals.
Price: 11 euros
Grape type: 100% Tempranillo
Producer: Bodegas Arzuaga
Production area: Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid) / DOP Ribera de Duero
This wine is made with the first grape that enters the winery with a very light pressing so that it does not reach more than 13%. It is the only one that does not go through the barrel in the entire winery and maintains a very pale pink color in the style of the rosés of Provence. It has a high aromatic intensity of forest and exotic fruits such as passion fruit. I found it perfect for aperitif time accompanied by some French… or Galician oysters.
Price: 26 euros
Grape type: 100% Verdejo
Producer: Barco del Corneta
Production area: La Seca (Valladolid) / Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León
La Silleria is an organic wine of very limited production (1,600 bottles) from 0.80 has of vines over 100 years old located 750 meters high. It ferments in barrels for a year before being aged on its lees for 12 months and then remains in a tank for 4 months before being bottled. It is a more intense wine than the average white, with a slightly bitter touch that makes it very interesting. Beatriz Herranz, founder of the winery, told me that her objective was to make a different wine from the more technical and standardized wines of DOP Rueda.
Price: 24 euros
Grape type: 100% Garnacha
Producer: Alto Moncayo
Production area: DOP Campo de Borja.
I found this wine at the Garnacha tasting organized by DOP Campo de Borja and it was my favorite along with Tres Picos, the great classic. It is made with Garnachas between 30 and 50 years old with 30-year aging. Very fruity and with notes of chocolate, very smooth on the palate. The soils in which they are grown are hard and stony, difficult to work. Somehow, they give these wines a lot of character.