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Bodegas Palacio crianza - Rioja; Primera Piedra - Cabernet Sauvignon; Albali Caliza; Campo Viejo Crianza; Campaneo - Chardonnay Casa Lapostolle - Merlot; Casillero del Diablo rosado; Codorniu Vintage Rosado; Cono Sur - Pinot Noir; Errazuriz Tapihue Block - Sauvignon Blanc; Freixenet - 2007 Vintage Especial; FaustinoVII - Blanco; Gran Familia - Rioja; Jaume Serra Cava; Marqués de Caranó; La Leyenda Malbec-Syrah; Luis Felipe Edwards reserva; Neblina Sauvignon Blanc, Chile; Viña Albali Reserva; Viña MAIPO Reserva - Merlot; Terra Andina Rosé; Mayor de Castilla; Pléyades Garnacha 2008 rosado; Natalie Maclean`s wine and food matcher; Bodega Monte Real-Argentina; Yali-Sauvignon Blanc; Viñedos Barrihuelo; Raso de la Cruz; Faustino VII rosado; Freixenet - Cordon Rosado; Jaume Serra Rosado; Rioja Santiago - Reserva 2003;Castillo San Lorenzo - Rioja; Santa Digna - Cabernet Sauvignon 2012;Mayor de Castilla (Ribera del Duero)

TOP SPANISH WINES

MIKE`S WEEKLY CHOICE

All these wines are inexpensive and are available at most supermarkets. If any cost more than £6, I will comment on the price, otherwise assume they cost about £5. I hope you will try our recommendations on top spanish wines.

mayor de castilla Ribera el duero wine

Mayor de Castilla (Ribera del Duero)

The Ribera del Duero is blessed by a combination of terrain, microclimate and native grape that give superb complex red wines. This Mayor del Castilla is the best selling of the Ribera del Duero wines and is an excellent example of the region. It combines youth and structure and is violet cherry red with blue tones. The wine is suggestive on the nose with a hint of ripe red berries, harmonious on the palate, and has elegant tannins typical of the Tinta del Pais grape variety. This gives first impressions strikingly similar to the Gamay grape of Beaujolais, with that soft tannin flavour. Although it does then reveal much more complex flavours. You will love this wine, it's good.

The region is located along the course of the Duero river in the northern plateau and is one of nine wine regions within Castile and Leon. The area is typically flat, rocky terrain. The main town in the area is Aranda de Duero, but with significant vineyards around Penafiel and Roa de Duero. Other highly regarded wines in the area are: Vega Sicilia and Tinto Pesquera, which are somewhat more expensive than Mayor de Castilla!

mayor de castilla ribera del duero botella
 

Santa Digna - Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

This is another glorious product from the Torres family and the vineyards they have in Chile. It is a characterful and rich drink with plummy overtones. Enjoy it with a variety of dishes because it is a versatile companion to most things.

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Castillo San Lorenzo Rioja - Reserva 2009

This Rioja is packed with rich full flavours. Then the spicy notes hit you and you realize this is a very special tasty wine. A blend of tempranillo, mazuelo and graciano grapes is aged for 2 years in american and french oak barrels. It will continue to improve up to ten years from the vintage. As you can imagine it's a superb complement to steak and other meat dishes. The bottle I enjoyed was a gift so I'm not sure where it was bought, but it's probably easy to find.

 
 

Rioja Santiago - Reserva

The winemakers of this superb offering have over a hundred years experience of making excellent Rioja, and it shows! It is a deep red with an abundance of character yet not over-powering, so it's very easy to drink and enjoy. It spends two years in oak barrels before being directly bottled so you may find some light residue. Decant if you think this may bother you. I would say this wine would be a great accompaniment to wide range of dishes.

The bottle was a gift from my eldest son, so I think it may be sourced from Virgin Wines.

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Primera Piedra - Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

The Colchagua valley in Chile must have the ideal climate for producing wonderful red wines. This cabernet sauvignon has blackcurrent and plum flavours in abundance, with an intense elegant finish. The spicy fruitiness will complement a good range of the usual red wine dishes, but I had it with Moroccan chicken and it was wonderful. It is one of those wines which can just as easily be drunk without any food at all, and it will still be very satisfying.

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Campaneo - Chardonnay 2011

A very fruity wine from the Campo de Borja region next to Rioja. Bottled by the Bodegas Aragonesas, this is a versatile white which can be drunk at any time. Campaneo means `ring of a bell`, and is most appropriate for this region of rivers, valleys and monasteries. This well balanced wine is bursting with lemon and ripe pears and is light but intense. It will be a great accompaniment to fish, creamy pasta dishes or warm salads. A really good value wine.

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Jaume Serra - Rosé Brut Reserva

There seems to be no end to the long line of brilliant Cava rosados from España. This wonderful fruity sparkler is from the Finca el Padruell and is made from the best selection of Pinot Noir and Trepat grapes and aged in bottle for at least 15 months. The result is a fantastic wine with lots of bubbles and a long dry finish. You must track down this Jaume Serra rosé and enjoy! Try Sainsbury or the Co-operative.

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Freixenet - Cordon Rosado

This sparkling rosado is another high quality wine from the reliable Freixenet company. If you appreciate dry tasty bubbly cava, which I would guess most wine lovers do; then you will really enjoy this lovely wine. The combination of lively bubbles and long lasting fruity taste on the palate makes this rosado a stunning drink. It is probably best enjoyed on its own as an aperitif with tapas or savoury bites. You can savour the drink better this way. However, like most wines, it will delight as an accompaniment for many dishes, so feel free to experiment. This cava will never disappoint.

A mix of Trepat and Garnatxa (Garnacha, in Catalan) grape varieties, it is ideally served at 6-8 degrees C.

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Faustino VII - Rioja rosado

Another wonderful wine from Bodegas Faustino in Rioja. This is a typically characterful Spanish rosado with lots of body and aromas of peachy fruit developed from cold fermentation. Its striking colour reminiscent of the popular red onion is courtesy of the Garnacha grape which is expertly blended with Tempranillo to produce a well rounded sumptious wine. Excellent as an aperitif or with fish, chicken or ham.

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Raso de la Cruz - Cariñena

Marks & Spencer have excelled here with their Spanish wine buying. This rosado was offered within one of their `meal deals` but is a real star! A very fruity and easy to like wine from the region of Cariñena in north east Spain, it is made from the Garnacha grape. If you like versatile wines then buy this for your store - it can accompany anything. It`s just a lovely simple, really tasty rosado.

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Viñedos Barrihuelo - Bodegas Muriel - Rioja

Muriel is one of the largest family owned winemakers in Rioja and have a long tradition stretching back to 1926. This is a lovely modern refreshing wine with lots of tropical and citrus fruit with floral notes. It is much fruitier than your classic dry white Rioja and could easily major as an aperitif if you wished. Ideal with fish and seafood, we enjoyed it with mussels and frites, and Asda fishcakes! Grapes are Viura and Malvasia. Promoted by Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range of food and drinks.

Highly recommended wine.

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Yali Wetland - Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker`s Selection have discovered a wonderful Sauvignon from the Viña Ventisquero Winery in the Lolo Valley in Maipo, Chile. It is light green in colour with bags of citrus and tropical fruits like lime, grapefruit and peaches on the nose. A clean crisp well balanced mineral taste on the palate, it has a well structured and balanced long fruit finish. This is another really good wine which you must experience.

The Yali Wetland is a major ecosystem close to the winery and the inspiration of the wine which it is hoped will raise the profile of how Yali is contributing to the conservation of other wetlands throughout the world.

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Bodega Monte Real - Mendoza Malbec Shiraz

The source of the grapes for this wine is in the Tupungato and Santa Rosa regions of the Mendoza valley. I would class this wine as a light/medium bodied deep red with a variety of subtle flavours and of an easy drinking calibre. You can detect chocolate, cherry, coffee, plum and vanilla, which will complement a range of foods from red meats, cheese and barbecue fayre. Not an outstanding wine, but very drinkable and possibly worth chilling a little for a hot summer's day alternative to cold whites and rosado wines. Good value wine at £5.50.

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Errazuriz Tapihue Block - Sauvignon Blanc

If you are looking for a special white wine to complement that savoury fish dish, look no further than this noble Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. It's a fruity wine, yes, but drier than many of its contemporaries. If you also can remember the times when French sauvignons had very little other competition, this Errazuriz has overtones of those original French wines. El Tapihue Block is at La Escultura Estate in the Casablanca Valley, arguably the country's best winemaking region. Hand harvested, it has been cold fermented and aged 'sur-lie' to give it a complex mineral fruitiness. Viña Errazuriz has been delighting its customers since 1870, and this Tapihue Block is yet another triumph to their long list of successes.

 

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Faustino VII - Rioja

This is another fine example from well-respected Bodegas Faustino in Oyon, Rioja, who have created a superb white from the Viura grape. It has an unusually pale colour with twinkles! which gives a clue to some of the taste to come. The first impressions of a lovely velvety texture are quickly followed by a surprisingly rich full-bodied experience. This really is a classy wine, to be enjoyed with all the usual suspects of fish, seafood, poultry or as an aperitif.

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Casa Lapostolle - Cuveé Alexandre - Merlot

This wonderful Chilean Merlot is the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas dinner or special occasion. A mix of 85% Merlot and 15% Carmenere, Alexandra Lapostolle has produced a stunning wine with explosive flavours of cassis, black cherry and dark chocolate in finely integrated oak. Their Cuvee Alexandre wines are dedicated to her grand-father, one of the dynasty of Grand Marnier liqueur producers. The grapes are from high quality 60 year old vines grown in the ideal soil of the Colchagua Valley in Chile. If you enjoy bold reds like me, then you will love this wine. At £14.50 it is not cheap, so a drink for when you have an excuse to spoil yourself.

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Gran Familia - Rioja

This is a classic white Rioja from the highly respected bodegas Castillo de Fuenmayor. Lots of fruit but light, refreshing and aromatic, it is ideal with fish, seafood or paella. High quality grapes are selected to create a wonderful fine white wine.

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La Leyenda - Guentota Estate - Argentina

Established in 1884 the Bodegas Escorihuela is the oldest working winery in the Mendoza region. La Leyenda (the legend) Malbec-Syrah has now been made for over a century and has powerful flavours of wild red fruits and plums with a fine balance of spiciness and a smooth velvety finish. You can imagine Argentinians enjoying this wine with their marvellous asados (BBQ) and it also goes well with chorizo, lamb and other red meats. A really satisfying drink.

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Marqués de Caranó Gran Reserva

The long hot sunny days in the Cariñena region produce a rich, full-bodied red with cherry and raspberry fruit flavours. This wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in American oak barrels before a further 36 months in the bottle. After this length of maturation you expect and receive a complex, spicy and characterful wine. Ideal with all red meats.

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Cono Sur Pinto Noir

From famous Chilean winemaker Adolfo Hurtado this Pinot Noir brings back memories of warm summer days of tasty red French wines. Conor Sur describe this wine as `voluptuous` full of rich aromas and flavours, and I don`t think you would argue with the description. The cherry, plum and strawberry fruit flavours are definitely strong within a subtle lingering taste. Try it with lamb steaks, perfect companions!

Worth the £5.99 at Tesco.

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Jaume Serra Cava

Brut Nature

From the Finca el Padruell in the heart of the Cava producing region of Penedes, this lively sparkler is made from the Xarel-Lo, Macabeo and Parellada grapes. which give it a well-balanced finish. It is pale yellow with fresh fruit aromas, a well-structured palate, and a fresh silky feel in the mouth. Ideal to accompany any aperitif and delicious with seafoods and salads. Try with crisps and dips, and just enjoy the wine!

Available in the UK at the Co-op and elsewhere.

chilean terra andina rose

Terra Andina Rosé

This fruity cabernet sauvignon from the Chile Central Valley is very smooth, yet has that syrup like texture on the palate, it could be an aperitif or a dessert wine. There are bags of red fruit, strawberries and raspberries, which linger to make this a very decent drink. It`s imported into Europe by Codorníu of Sant Sadurni, what more recommendation do you need! It will accompany a large range of dishes and keep its character.

chilean wine terra andina rose
pata negra valdepenas wine

Pata Negra Valdepeñas Reserva

This deep red classic from Bodegas Llanos in Valdepeñas is produced from the Tempranillo grape. If you drink it on immediate uncorking it tastes a little harsh, but has a satisfying lingering quality. It was an excellent accompaniment to a beef stir-fry with broccoli and oyster sauce. The following day after opening (albeit evacuated overnight) it was much silkier and balanced, and probably much easier to drink. It was like a smooth port. If you know you are going to drink all the bottle the same day, just let it breath for an hour or two, and I`m sure it will be great.

 

pata negra valdepenas wine label
rioja wine - campo viejo crianza

Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza

An ideal mix of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Mazuelo creates this impressive popular Rioja from the renown Campo Viejo Bodegas. It is a lovely smooth easy drinking fruity red with a hint of the oak in which it has been aged for at least 12 months. Use to compliment anything which needs a wine of character. We drank it with spare ribs in sticky rib sauce from a recipe of Mad Malcolm's from BBC Radio Leeds. Fantastic! Probably costs £5.99 in the supermarket.

 

campo viejo
Albali caliza wine bottle

Albali Caliza

This mix of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon is barrel aged and has bags of powerful flavours. Ideal to accompany red meats and steaks, it is a wine fermented especially for strong red lovers. A product from La Tierra de Castilla in central Spain, it has oak notes developed from 3 months in barrel, and temperature control and produced soft tannins and balanced acidity. In summary - right good red plonk!

Albali Caliza wine
pleyades rosado wine

Pléyades Garnacha 2008 rosado

This is a lively rosado from the ancient village of Cariñena in Zaragosa, Aragon. I found it silky smooth with lovely redcurrant, cherry and strawberry type flavours lingering quite a while after the first taste. Pleyades is named after the daughters of Pleione who were turned into doves before becoming the grape-shaped constellation of stars! - not many people know that. This wine worked well as an aperitive with nibbles of olives, houmous and salsa dip with tortilla crisps.

 
 

Neblina - Sauvignon Blanc - Chile

Crisp, fresh and fruity, this wine is easy to drink with undertones from the original French style rather than the Australasian Sauvignons. Another good wine from the Central Valley in Chile, it works well of course with fish, seafood and white meat. However, we finished off a bottle while eating Pumpkin Pie at Halloween - and it went a treat! So obviously it is capable of acting as a dessert wine in some instances.

neblina sauvignon blanc - chile
luis felipe edwards rosado

Luis Felipe Edwards reserva

This is a first class rosé from the Central Valley of Chile, bringing together the quintessential red grape varietals Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Another product of a leading Chilean family vineyard, this rosado is fresh, fruity and fun. In autumn you can pretend summer is still around. A versatile wine which can be drunk with a range of foods). Try with the baked potatoes stuffed with bolognese mince recipe.

luis felipe chile rose
vina albali

Viña Albali Reserva

This tasty mix of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon from Valdepeñas has been aged for 14 months in oak barrels. The result is a lovely intense full-bodied red with strong oak taste from the ageing process.

Created and bottled by Felix Solis.

Try this wine with rib-eye steak, chips and salad - wonderful!

vina albali full bottle
vina Maipo reserva Merlot

 

Viña MAIPO Reserva - Merlot

The exceptional climate and soil of the Central Valley of Chile has produced a lovely full-bodied Merlot. Aromas of cherries, pepper and cacao make this an interesting wine and very drinkable.

Great with pasta, risotto, white meats and soft cheeses. Try with Pecan-crusted duck fillets - fantastic.

Available at Sainsburys for an unbelievable £3.99.

 

 

 
codorniu rosado cava

Codorniu Vintage Rosado

This is another classic Cava from the region of Sant Sadurni d`Anoia near Barcelona. The Codorniu family have been making sparkling wine since 1872 and this tradition just shines through in quality.

Sparkling rosado doesn`t get much better than this - crafted from the Monastrell and Pinot Noir grapes of a single year. Enjoy the vibrant sparkle of summer fruits and aromas with almost any dish you like. This wine is excellent with anything, and great with simple nibbles like nuts and olives.

Available at many supermarkets on offer at around £5.95

Codorniu cava wine
wine Casillero del Diablo

Casillero del Diablo rosado

Chile has come to prominence in the last decade or two for the high quality of its wines. However Concha y Toro who make this wine, have been established for well over 100 years!

Very gluggable, fresh and fruity with a clean finish. It has plenty of forest fruits with a hint of spiciness. Bags of strength and I think it can be drunk with almost anything. This weekend we tried it with a mussel-fish soup, and it was fine.

It is said that Don Melchor, the founder of C y T, kept a batch of the best wines to himself in a cellar. He said that the Devil lived in the place, to keep unwanted visitors away!

 

wine - casillero-del-diablo-rosado1
rioja bodegas palacio

Bodegas Palacio crianza - Rioja

This has all the usual vibrant red fruit flavours of Rioja with a nice easy drinking quality that would make it attractive to new Rioja drinkers. We used it to accompany a rather nice roasted lamb steaks with rosemary sweet potato recipe, and it just went a treat. Sometimes my wife needs strong reds diluting with water, but she said this was good on its own. A touch of vanilla is added by careful ageing in oak barrels.

Don Cosme Palacio founded his bodega in 1894 and this wine has the elegance of this long tradition of wine making.

bodegas palacio rioja
Freixenet especial

Freixenet - 2007 Vintage Especial

This is a sparkling wine of real quality which you come to expect from the famous cellars of Freixenet in the hills west of Barcelona. Fresh fruity aromas and a crispness with long lasting sparkle should mark out this Cava as a favourite.

It`s a mix of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parallada grape varieties, with the latter bringing out peachy melon flavours. Serve well chilled at 6-8 degrees.

You can usually find it on offer at various times of the year at around £5.95 - it`s an absolute steal. Do not waste money on Champagne when you can get this one.

wine Freixenet especial
     
  For a super way of finding the perfect match of food with your wine, why not try Natalie Maclean's matcher below:-  
     

Other information on top spanish wines

For a comprehensive selection of articles and useful forums on wines, visit the excellent wine.about.com which is managed by Stacy Slinkard, a certified sommelier with many years experience.

 

   

 


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