Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three Spanish Bargains You Need To Put Your Hands On

The Spanish Trifecta!

Rating: Each of these is very different from the other, but they are all worth seeking out and all get the same rating.  These could very well be the best bang for $10 in the marketplace right now.


The rest of the story:
Full disclosure: These wines were all tasted courtesy of Winethropology friends/readers. Special thanks go out to Jeff and May for the Rioja, to Tutu and Angela for the Tempranillo (and paella!), and (once again) we are embarrassed to say that we do not know who the Este Almanzora came from.  So if it was you, please let us know so we can thank you properly.

What a great problem to have.  We are drinking so much good wine these days that we're having to combine reviews.  Boo-hoo.  This "tough" job is made even more pleasant through the generosity of our readers - all were tasted courtesy of Winethropology fans.  If nothing else, it's a testament to our readership's great taste.
  
Three wines.  Three regions.  One country.  Once price point.  These could very well be the best $10 wines on the market right now.

Este Almanzora - Though we couldn't find a vintage reference on the label, we're going to assume it's 2007 and not a non-vintage wine.  Hailing from Andalusia in southeastern Spain, this muscular but refined wine is like a wide receiver in a tailored suit and delivers on all fronts.  Bold, structured, and commanding of attention it's almost intense, but managed to keep its balance.  The oak is present without being obtrusive lending structure many Spanish fruit bombs lack.  Inky color.  Inherently loveable. 

2006 Rioja Gran Familia.  Old school style rioja done well by the Castillo de FuemayorVery well.  From famous Rioja region in north central Spain.  As smooth a wine as they come.  Perfectly integrated tannins, no lingering funk or aftertaste in a light-to-medium-bodied package.  Did we mention that it's smooth?  Great food wine.  Universally appealing. 15,000 cases produced, but has been tough to find.  Check out my favorite etailer, Market View Liquor.

2007 Paso a Paso Tempranillo.  From Bodegas Volver in La Mancha (central Spain) comes a powerful wine that's more Australian than Spanish in its chocolatiness.  Broad shouldered and very tasty.  Maybe not as sophisticated as the Este, but an easy crowd pleaser.  And you should be able to find it most places.

You pretty much can't go wrong with these wines.  And, wow, $10!?!  Seriously.  Pick up a mixed case, pronto.