Tasting Highlights’ wine reviews are fresh out of the tasting room, offering a sneak peek of our editors’ most recent scores and notes to WineSpectator.com members.
Spain has the largest vineyard area of any country in the world, and many indigenous grapes to work with. Given the diversity of terroir, climate and raw material, its wines offer a variety of styles. Here is a sampling of wines, all rated 90 points or higher, from regions around the country.
ABADIA RETUERTA Viño de la Tierra de Castilla y León Selección Especial Sardon de Duero 2015 Score: 93 | $32
WS Review: Rich and dense, this red shows a brooding character, with woodsy and loamy earth notes framing a core of currant and tar. Muscular tannins are well-integrated, and juicy acidity keeps this lively. Harmonious. Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. Drink now through 2030. 5,000 cases imported.—T.M.
Why It’s of Note: The Abadia Retuerta property is centered on a medieval monastery that has been repurposed into an ambitious winery and a luxury hotel. Their Selección Especial is a blend of the indigenous Tempranillo with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It has earned spots in Wine Spectator‘s Top 100 Wines numerous times.
BODEGAS JUAN GIL Jumilla Blue Label 2015 Score: 92 | $35
WS Review: This red has density and polish, in the modern style. Cocoa and spice flavors mingle with blackberry and currant fruit, backed by well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity. Plush and harmonious. Drink now through 2025. 1,250 cases imported.—T.M.
Why It’s of Note: The Gil family has expanded aggressively with bodegas in many regions of Spain, but Jumilla, in the southeast, is their home. Their Blue Label cuvée is based on Monastrell (known as Mourvèdre in France), blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It’s rich and fruit-driven.
COTO DE GOMARIZ Ribeiro White The Flower and the Bee 2017 Score: 92 | $17
WS Review: This bold white offers an alluring mix of fruit and savory notes. Quince and guava flavors mingle with herbal, toasty and mineral elements. Bold but light-footed, kept lively by tangerine acidity. Expressive. Treixadura. Drink now through 2023. 600 cases imported.—T.M.
Why It’s of Note: Galicia, in Spain’s cool, damp northwestern corner, is making some of the country’s most exciting wines. They are generally more supple and savory than wines from the sun-drenched interior of the country. Ribeiro is an ancient but long-neglected region now making elegant whites from the native Treixadura grape. The wines, like this one from Coto de Gomariz, show an energetic profile, with vibrant acidity carrying the savory flavors.
EDETRIA Garnatxa Blanca Terra Alta Via Terra 2017 Score: 91 | $15
WS Review: This white has a thick texture, delivering pear, guava, tarragon and blanched almond flavors. Firm acidity and a touch of tannins give this a solid frame. Muscular, but remains balanced. Drink now through 2023. 1,800 cases imported.—T.M.
Why It’s of Note: Terra Alta lies just west of Priorat, its more famous neighbor, but grows many of the same grapes, like Garnacha for reds and Garnacha Blanca for whites. The family-owned Edetària winery is the region’s leader, making wines that balance concentration with focus and finesse.
BODEGAS VALDUBÓN Ribera del Duero Reserva 2014 Score: 91 | $24
WS Review: This old-school red shows a savory character, featuring black olive, soy and forest floor notes, a core of black cherry flavors and lively accents of orange peel, spice and smoke. Rich but smooth, with a fresh finish. Drink now through 2026. 500 cases imported.—T.M.
Why It’s of Note: Bodegas Valdubón is an estate owned by the Freixenet company, which is most famous for its sparkling Cavas. Located in Ribera del Duero, Valdubón makes sturdy, balanced reds from the Tempranillo grape. The reservas have a consistent track record, delivering very good to outstanding quality at very fair prices.
BODEGAS LACORT Rioja Mariano J. Crianza 2015 Score: 90 | $15
WS Review: This red is thick and velvety, with a core of crushed blackberry flavors framed by coffee, licorice and gamy notes. Well-integrated tannins and juicy acidity keep this focused. Drink now through 2027. 1,000 cases imported.—T.M.
Why It’s of Note: Bodegas Lacort is among Rioja’s oldest producers, but maintains a modest profile and makes wines that strike a balance between traditional elegance and modern concentration. This crianza hits the sweet spot, thanks partly to the favorable 2015 vintage, and offers terrific value.
Source : https://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/6-Shining-Wines-Spain-Rioja-90-Plus-Points-57207