Spain tagged posts

Under $12 Deals: Spain Strikes Again w/ La Atalaya ($11.95, RP91)

September 13, 2013 Under $12 Deals  No comments

2010 La AtalayaThe complaint about modern styled Spanish wines is everything tastes the same.  And frankly, I agree to an extent.  The wines of Juan Gil, Jorge Ordonez and a handful of others do have a certain sameness to them.  Okay, ready for the "but"?  But buy a $12 California red wine and not only will it lack a sense of place, but it will also, with very few exceptions, lack concentration, polish, depth and finish - all traits that La Atalaya and other high-performing Spanish wines have in droves.

I guess the point is this: The wines might not be all that different from each other, but when they are this good, who really cares?  La Atalaya has the depth, concentration and aromatics of a $50 wine and it costs $12!  It's made of mostly Garnacha (Grenache) with 15% Monastrell (Mourvedre) and

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A Crazy Cheap (and Good) Bubbly for the Holidays – $5.99

November 7, 2012 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

Cristalino Brut CavaIf you're anything like me, you love to serve wine to guests, but unless they are real "wine people" you don't want to break the bank.  Such was the case recently when my wife was hosting a wedding shower and her loving husband (your's truly) was tasked with acquiring the libations for the event.  No self-respecting wine guy would serve Asti Spumante to guests no matter how elementary their wine knowledge, so you know I did the research.  After all, I was later announced as Mason "The Wino" Hewitt at the wedding reception!

Whether it's a bridal shower, Thanksgiving or just plain Tuesday, everyone's budget bubbly should be Cristalino Brut Cava.  At $5.99 per bottle, you can afford to have a case of this sitting around for whatever occasion might arise.  The reviews from the wedding

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The 2009 Clio Might Be The Best $40 You Ever Spent

March 14, 2012 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

Clio's worst score from Wine Advocate was its debut year of 2002.  It got 93 points that year and hasn't received less than 94 since.  It's is made of 70% Monastrell (AKA Mouvedre) and 30% Cabernet.  Mouvedre isn't generally used as a primary grape with the exception of one very famous wine.  Ever heard of Beaucastel?  Yeah, it's a majority Mouvedre.

Clio is a joint venture between Juan Gil, Jorge Ordonez and Chris Ringland - three legends of the wine world, who came together to create a legend of their own.  The unique blend of Rhone and Bordeaux gives this wine a finesse and a power that combine to create a very compelling wine.  Copious amounts of new oak produces a vanilla nose but as the wine hits the palate, oak takes a backseat to the fruit.  Fruit is where Spain is unmatched in

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The Top Deal of 2011 – ’09 Volver Tempranillo 92 pts for $11.95

December 15, 2011 Cellar WorthyDaily Drinkers  No comments

Disclaimer: Spain has, by far, the best wine values in the world.

Remember what I said about Jorge Ordonez? No?  Well read up on him here on my post dedicated to his wine.  He's a legendary wine importer and the 2009 Bodegas Volver Tempranillo is probably his best value ever.  Call me a fanboy.  Go ahead.  Jorge Ordonez is to me what Steve Jobs is to Apple fanatics.

I've had this wine for the last three vintages and the 2009 is the best yet.  Volver routinely scores 90 points but this year Robert Parker gave it 92 points saying "I would unquestionably drink as a house wine."  Parker doesn't review Spanish wines anymore, but he had this and thought it was so good that he wrote it up in his quarterly publication.  Need a back-up rating? Tanzer gave it 90+ points which

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A 91 Point Spanish Red under $10 – Artazuri Garnacha 2009

December 7, 2011 Cellar WorthyDaily Drinkers  No comments

Disclaimer: Spain has, by far, the best wine values in the world.

For my money, Spain has two premier red grapes: Garnacha (Grenache) and Tempranillo, though many other grapes play important supporting roles.  The Spanish version of Grenache can range from light and supple to huge and oaky.  This one forgoes the oak but has plenty of the spicy fruit flavors which define Spanish Grenache vs. the French or American versions.

Hailing from the Navarra region in Northern Spain, near the French border, this Garnacha splits the difference between Spanish spice and Southern Rhone sleek.  The nose is bright - focused on fruit over oak.  Immediately upon opening, this wine was on the lighter side with sweet cherry flavors coating the palate.  I opened it on Friday and today

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88 Point Rioja Under $10 – Luberri Joven Orlegi 2010

September 30, 2011 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

From now on, the following note goes at the top of every Spanish wine post.  Disclaimer: Spain has, by far, the best wine values in the world.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the latest value.  Any Rioja under $10 is likely a good deal, since Rioja is arguably the most prestigious region in Spain.  So when I came across this 88 pointer for $9.95, I had to try it.  What's the worst that could happen?  I'm out $10?  Well, for me, not quite actually.  You see every wine I drink has an opportunity cost.  What's the opportunity?  A better wine of course.  I can only drink so much wine and could never hope to taste every wine in the world, so a crappy bottle isn't just a waste of money, it's a waste of the experience of drinking another, better wine.

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If You See This Logo, Buy This Wine: Jorge Ordonez Selections

August 31, 2011 Cellar WorthyDaily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

This guy is THE MAN.  I've written extensively on these pages about the incredible values Spain puts out year after year, and recently I've come to realize that this guy, Jorge Ordonez, might be singlehandedly responsible.  Jorge is a Spanish importer who specializes in epic values between $6 and $60.  Recently, I started to notice this logo on many of my Spanish wines and quickly realized that all of my favorites had something in common: they were imported by Jorge Ordonez.

Volver?  That's Jorge.  Alto Moncayo Veraton?  Check.  Tres Picos?  Check-a-roo.  Juan Gil?  Protocolo? Okay you get the picture.  The list goes on and covers some of my very favorite high-end wines as well as the value priced steals.

Tonight I'm drinking a Spanish white - a grape I've never had called Albarino

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A 90 Point Tempranillo That Will Blow Your Mind

May 9, 2011 Daily Drinkers  One comment

It's wines like this that make me ask why I spend $30+ on a single bottle.  I try two to three new wines every week.  Because of the research I put in before purchasing, I'm often (but not always) impressed by the value those wines deliver.  Occasionally, I am totally blown away by what I'm drinking.  This is one of those wines.

I literally can't wrap my head around how, financially, a wine this good can be made.  The grapes are grown nearly 6000 miles away in a country where, despite their unstable economy, the exchange rate isn't exactly favorable for us 'mericans.  Sure Spain has more acres under vine than any other country, but they still have to grow, harvest, ferment, age, bottle, transport and sell each bottle of wine.  Doing that for a wine that tastes this good, and selling it

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A 91 Spanish Red for under $13 – Tres Picos

May 4, 2011 Daily Drinkers  No comments

When I wrote up the last vintage of this awesome Spanish Garnacha, I compared it to a fine northern Rhone.  If anything, the 2009 vintage is even better than the 2008.  I've mentioned this several times, but if you are looking for value in the $8-15 range, start with Spain and especially their Grenache/Garnacha.  It's difficult to find better drinking wines for the price.

Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha is not subtle but it is balanced.  This wine is made for the pleasure seeker.  It's aged half in stainless and half in oak so you get a nice freshness with the added rich texture from the oak.  That said, the oak influence is definitely not prominent compared to many Spanish Garnacha which use strongly flavored new American Oak.

Finding any 91 point red under $15 is rare.  When

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A 90 Point Spanish Value from Juan Gil – $12.95

April 12, 2011 Daily Drinkers  No comments

If you haven't noticed, I've been way in to the Rhone varietals lately.  High quality, value priced Rhones are coming from the U.S., France, Australia and Spain, in impressive quantities.  In addition to taking mid-day naps, the Spanish are known for their unique take on Rhone grape Grenache (one of my favorites), but they also excel at another popular Rhone grape, Monastrell, or what we know as Mourvedre.  This grape, along with Syrah and Grenache are the main ingredients of Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds.

Too many weird sounding foreign words in this post?  Don't be intimidated.  This is just fermented grape juice and it doesn't have to be complicated or intimidating.  Look for a post on how to understand international wines soon.

For this international wine, all you need to know is

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