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Drinks 10 Great Spanish Wines To Take Note Of (And Drink)

10 Great Spanish Wines To Take Note Of (And Drink)

10 Great Spanish Wines To Take Note Of (And Drink)
By James Suckling
February 07, 2019
Having tasted more than 2,800 Spanish wines over the past year, James Suckling and his team failed to award a perfect 100 points, but they were still mightily impressed by the quality found

Spain’s powerful yet refined reds dominate the team’s Top 100 Spanish Wines of 2018. The occupant of the number one position is a near-perfect example of what makes the new Spanish reds from the native tempranillo grape so special.

1/10 Muga Rioja Aro 2015

A more sophisticated, savoury, mineral attitude on the nose, with dark chocolate, plum liqueur and dark cherry that’s still very primary. Violets, too. This has sexy, seductive dark plum and berries on the palate with an immaculate tannin texture and freshness. Profound, unending depth. Wow. Try from 2023. 99 points

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2/10 Bodegas Roda Rioja Roda I Reserva 2011

There is beauty here and the transparency is inspiring, with dark berry, floral and mineral character. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. A glorious wine that will age for decades but is already beautiful now. 98 points

3/10 Contino Rioja Viña del Olivo 2016

This is sleek and racy with incredible polish and beauty. Full body with ultra-fine tannins that touch you at the beginning and take you down to a gorgeous depth of fruit. Super. A great single-vineyard wine. Drink in 2022. 98 points

4/10 Artadi Alava La Poza de Ballesteros 2017

The nose conjures the best bitter chocolate from Venezuela, but with some wild herbal notes, too. This spectacular tempranillo is very concentrated and muscular, but remains light-footed. Very long finish. Drink or hold. 98 points

5/10 Envínate Almansa Albahra Vinos Mediterráneos 2016

Wildly complex with fragrant, rich red-cherry and boysenberry cast against dark, stony minerals. The palate has a long, succulent, compelling tannin structure with dark, rich, concentrated raspberry and red cherry. This is really something. Drink or hold. 97 points

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6/10 López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia 2005

Lovely depth of fruit to this mature red with chocolate, dark tea and bark. Purple flowers and violets. Full, very silky and refined. A beautiful traditional wine to get to know. Drink now. 94 points

7/10 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 2009

This is a driven, super-tight Gran Reserva with dark berries and hints of spice and cedar. A spicy, red-pepper undertone and some dried flowers. Full to medium body, integrated tannins and a superb finish. A great wine. One for the cellar, but why wait. 97 points

8/10 Gonzalez Byass Jerez Tio Pepe Cuatro Palmas Amontillado

If sherry doesn’t excite you, then try this bottle. Very complex bouquet of toasted nuts and dried fruit, like brown, unsulphured apricots. Then staggering concentration and finesse on the palate and a finish that literally takes your breath away. Drink now to appreciate the 52 years of ageing it  took before bottling. 98 points

9/10 Compañia De Vinos Telmo Rodriguez Valdeorras O Diviso 2015

Ethereal nose of flowers that you normally only smell in a dream. The superfine filigree tannins give it a weightless feel on the palate. Then comes the silkiness of the almost endless finish. Made from ancient vines that produce a mencía-dominated field blend. Drink whenever you want through to 2035. 97 points

10/10 Losada Vinos De Finca Mencía Bierzo Altos De Losada La Bienquerida

A very complex, deep-set wine from the outset. This shows a very impressive sense of purity, suggesting immaculate attention to detail in the vineyard. Dark stones and graphite with light, peppery nuances and a deep black-cherry core. The tannins are long, sleek and sexy, like crushed velvet. Long and fresh. Drink or hold. 98 points

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