Old Vines and Fresh Spanish Wines

Historic Winemaking Revitalized

 

Spain is an ancient winemaking region and the third biggest producer in the world. Famously, more land in Spain is covered in vines compared with anywhere else in the world. Winemaking in this part of the Iberian Peninsula benefits from a wealth of old vines. “Old vines” are significant because they have deeper roots that draw more nuance flavors from the soil they sit in. Older vines can also mean lower yields, and the resulting dense concentration of flavors has become typical of Spanish wines—made from both old and young rootstock alike. In recent decades, irrigation and temperature controlled fermentation are helping to increase yields in Spain, making more unusual varietals and old-vine wines available to international markets.

An amazing choice for barbecues and picnics, Spanish wine’s reputation is too often overshadowed by its neighbors, France and Italy. We don’t mean to keep great wines from Spain a secret, but we will say that quality on the DL makes for great bottles at unbelievable prices.

Keep reading for Spanish picks from our sales associates, Erik Guzinski, Marcarthur Baralla, Josh Mizrahi, Amy Miller, and sales managers, Bambi Ray and Doug Yacka.

Priorat “Menut,” Clos Martinet $21.96

Aromas of dark fruit and licorice stand out on the nose accompanied by a good dose of black rock (courtesy of Priorat’s famed, llicorella soil). The palate is satisfyingly rich, full- bodied, and loaded with spice. This is a terrific wine for those looking to continue exploring Spain, beyond Rioja—Priorat is known for the quality and diversity of its stand-out wines. – Erik Guzinski

Joan d’Anguera “Altaroses,” Montsant $19.99

When two brothers, Joseph and Joan, took over the family business in 2000, they replaced the heavy, sinuy wine style with something more moderate, elegant and delicate. Clean and rich, with medium tannins and acidity, this red finishes on mineral notes of oak. – Marcarthur Baralla

Viña Godeval, Valdeorras $17.96

Godello is probably not your go to varietal, but it probably should be. It is flippin’ delicious, and this Viña Godeval, Valdeorras is a great place to start—ripe fruit and floral notes, followed by a crisp mineral streak. Open one today and see what you’ve been missing. – Josh Mizrahi

Albariño, Fefinanes 2016 $22.96

Fefinanes is one of the oldest wineries in the region of Rías Baixas and their experience shows. Made from grapes grown near the Atlantic Coast, this wine tastes of the sea with a lovely streak of salinity. Notes of pear, white peach, and lemon give way to a gorgeous wet-stone minerality. In short, it’s bright, refined, and sharply focused. – Amy Miller

Cividade Mencía $19.96

If you’ve ever asked me about Spanish wines, then you probably know how much I love the varietal, Mencía! The slate soils of Ribeira Sacra define outstanding examples of the grape, lending to dark, plush fruit. Cividade is a stellar choice if you want to cozy up with a style you’ve maybe been missing out on. What are you waiting for?! – Bambi Ray

Primitivo Quiles “Raspay” Tinto $24.96

The Quiles family only makes this wine in excellent vintages—expressing its limestone rich soil and a hot, dry climate regulated by a Mediterranean breeze. Look for notes of earth, leather, and tobacco up front, with black olive, dried cherry and a touch of (intentional) oxidation, which imparts a slight tawny character. – Doug Yacka