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Digest 10 Of The Best Spanish Wines

10 Of The Best Spanish Wines

10 Of The Best Spanish Wines
By James Suckling
February 27, 2017
Tastings of more than 900 Spanish wines over the past year confirm that the classic areas of Rioja and Priorat are making the best bottles. But the northwestern region of Galicia is also making some exceptional wines, particularly the sub-region of Bierzo, which produces linear and structured reds, writes James Suckling. Here, resident wine expert nominates his top 10 Spanish wines.

Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 1986

This is a triumph. An amazing white showing roasted pineapple, dried apple, flowers and hints of lemon curd and almonds on the nose. Full-body, closed and tight with amazing depth and beauty. Waxy, salty and creamy. Goes on for minutes. Twenty-one years in wood, seven in concrete and then about three years in bottle. First year released since 1978. Viura with a hint of malvasia. I have the same mind-tingling sensation tasting this as tasting the 1963 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco. Another perfect wine. 8,000 bottles made. 100 points

Alvaro Palacios Priorat L’Ermita 2014

A pretty nose of red flowers and fresh red berries with hints of soft spices. Medium body, a captivating texture of ripe fruit and fresh acidity. So refined and fresh. Finish is gorgeous with pure red-fruit character. Ethereal. Made from 91% garnacha, 8% samsó (a local red grape), 1% garnacha blanca and 1% macabeo. Drink now or hold. 98 points

Artadi Rioja Rioja Viña El Pisón 2013

Amazing depth and complexity to this red, showing dark berries, strawberry and raspberry with hints of earth and seaweed on the nose. Full body with ultra-compact and fined-grained tannins that follow through to a pure, very long and intense wet earthy and minerally finish. Very classy and structured. Needs at least four or five years to soften. Try in 2020.  98 points

Descendientes de J Palacios Bierzo La Faraona 2014

Amazing aromas and flavours of dried flowers and black pepper with blackcurrant and cranberry. Full body, firm and silky tannins, and a fresh and minerally aftertaste. A sensational wine. Better in 2020.  98 points

Artadi Rioja El Carretil 2015

A pure, deep and complex red showing ripe dark fruit, violets, cocoa and earth character. Seaweed, too. Full-bodied, with concentrated and perfectly silky tannins leading to a clean, ripe and beautifully earthy and minerally finish. An amazing wine with a great structure. Single-vineyard bottling. Give this three to four more years. What a wine. 97 points

La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 2007

Wonderful purity of fruit with strawberry, currant and plum character. Full and velvety body with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious fresh and fruity finish. Classic Rioja style. Que lindo! Drink now.  97 points

Muga Rioja Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2009

Gorgeous aromas of ripe fruit, Spanish cedar and dark chocolate. Full body with beautiful flavours of fresh strawberry and raspberry. Super polished and refined. Lovely tension and superb depth. Always a masterpiece. Better in 2018 but a joy to taste now.  97points

Terroir Al Límit Priorat Les Tosses 2014

Slightly reductive yet powerful nose showing qualitative fruit and depth. Flowers and spice. Full body with an ultra-velvety texture and high level of soft tannins. Harmonious. The finish is long and smooth. One of the two top cuvees of the winery. Made from old vine carinena. Only 1,008 bottles made. Drink or hold.  97 points

Alvaro Palacios Priorat Finca Dofí 2014

Subtle nose of dried rose petals, slate and hints of red cherries. Full body, a beautiful structure and a dense and harmonious texture. Single vineyard. So delicious now. Why wait?  96 points

Bodegas Luzdivina Bierzo Baloiro Reserva 2010

Deep and layered nose of dried strawberry, cherry and prune with hints of fresh walnut and meaty notes. Blackcurrant liquor, too. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a long, silky finish. Superb. Drink now.  96 points


Digest james suckling top 10 wines Galicia Spanish wines Rioja Priorat


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