Spain remains one of the world’s great wine-producing countries, sporting nearly 3 million acres of grapevines, more than any other country in the world.
Among red varieties, Tempranillo is by far Spain’s most recognized grape; second in the hierarchy of Spanish wine is Cava, a sparkling wine made using the classic Champagne method.
While the best wines in Spain hail from the northern third of the country, where the climate is not as hot and dry as in the south and where there is elevation from various mountain ranges and oceanic influences, grapes are grown throughout the Spanish wine regions, from Palomino in the southwest to Monastrell (another name for Mourvèdre) in the southeast to Garnacha in Aragón and Priorat to almost everything under the hot Spanish sun in sprawling La Mancha in the dead center of Spain.
Dusty cherry and plum aromas are nothing special. The palate is similarly just OK, with stalky flavors of citrus and red fruits. This is lightly oxidized and pithy tasting on the finish.
Barnyardy-earthy aromas dominate this wine’s nose; the palate offers mostly blackberry and sweet cream flavors, plus a smooth mouthfeel. Finishes tart, with herb, lemon and cheese flavors. 65% Garnacha, 35% Cariñena.
Earth, raisin, dried herb and funky, odd oak aromas lead to a grabby, friction-filled palate with sweet-and-sour flavors of raisin, pie cherry and cheese. Finishes resiny and raisiny, with milk chocolate and licorice. A weird wine with a lot of foreign Russian oak character.
Cheerful but basic raspberry aromas and flavors is what this young Rioja is about. It feels a little bulky at first, and then acids swell up to cut it short. Almost snappy in the late innings.
Quite brambly and funky, with a roasted “country” quality that points it toward leather and rubber. An organic wine with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha; it’s sort of tangy and choppy on the palate, with a mix of awkwardly sweet and sour flavors.
Briary, herbal aromas bring hints of tomato sauce and burnt leaves to the game, while the palate is fairly innocuous in feel. Flavors of herbal berry fruit and beets are sweet and strained, while the finish hints at green herbs and dried leaves.
Nothing special about this blend of Tempranillo and Shiraz. In fact, it’s more austere and less pleasing than the brand’s basic 2007 Temp-Shiraz blend. That said, this wine shows thin raspberry flavors and a tangy, almost sour back end. Probably best with food; not real good on its own.
Quite strange and funky smelling, with uncommon grass, floral, hickory and blueberry aromas. The palate feels fine but has a sweet, faux-weedy core flavor that’s offset by candied berry flavors. Tastes of licorice and lactic creaminess on the finish.