The cartoixa de escaladei in priorat was a working monastery  with vineyards  from the 1100s until it was ransacked by the local peasantry in 1835. copy

Mediterranean Spain: Diversity and Consistency

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Apr 2019

From northeastern Catalonia to the country’s southeast corner and all the way west to Andalusia, Spain’s Mediterranean Ocean–influenced winegrowing regions have been experiencing a run of almost uniformly very good to epic vintages.

Terraced vineyards in valdeorras  overlooking the river sil. today  this relatively obscure zone is emerging as one of spain's most exciting growing regions copy

Spain’s Northern Regions Keep It Cool

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Mar 2019

Spain’s northern, Atlantic Ocean–influenced winegrowing zones were virtually unknown to most wine lovers only a decade ago, but things have changed dramatically. The popularity of some of Spain’s high-quality red wines and racy whites from the area continues a steep upward trajectory.

Rioja's beneficial microclimate owes a great deal to the sierra cantabria mountain range  which shelters the vineyards from rain and cold winds that pour down from the atlantic ocean copy

Rioja Looks Back and Ahead

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2019

Traditionally made Riojas are having a moment. Old-school, elegant Riojas have caught the attention of collectors and sommeliers around the world, putting pressure on the supply of some of the region’s most famous wines. At the same time, a number of modern-leaning producers have begun to throttle back on assertive oak, extraction and alcohol levels, which is a highly welcome development. The recent 2016, 2015 and 2014 vintages have been very good to outstanding, with healthy yields that ensure there’s plenty of wine to go around.

Img 9932 copy

Cellar Favorite: 1970 Bodegas Vega Sicilia Único

Spain, Cellar Favorites, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2017

I always get goose bumps when I see the 1970 Único. Remarkably dense, powerful and seamless in the glass, the 1970 boasts off the charts concentration and depth.

Late summer in ribera del duero copy

Spain’s New Releases, Part 2: Triumphs and Travails

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, May 2017

After struggling with difficult weather in 2014 and 2013, producers in Spain were thrilled with a healthy crop of fruit in 2015. Early indications are that this vintage produced a bounty of top-notch wines that should provide abundant pleasure in their youth.

Photo mas martinet

2017 New Releases From Spain, Part 1

Spain

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2017

Overall quality of Spanish wines continues to rise, as does their availability in export markets. The result is a rapidly increasing number of wines that are worthy of consumers’ attention. This year we will be publishing several articles throughout the year in order to align coverage with what has become a continuous stream of new releases.

Old bush vine monastrell

Exploring Mediterranean Spain

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2016

Attempting to categorize a stretch of Spain that runs from the French border down and then west across to Jerez is a challenge that is best achieved by taking a closer look at some of the individual regions that make up this vast swath of land. The wines produced in the zones that lie on or near the Mediterranean coast vary considerably. The northeast section, Catalonia, tends to produce more graceful wines that reflect the area’s relatively cool climate, while those farther down the coast display the ripe, powerful character one would expect from hot, arid conditions. Throw in the elegant wines being made on Spain’s islands, especially the Canaries, and you’ve got an area that defies simple generalization.

Paetzold ribeirasacra05

Atlantic Spain

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2016

As might be expected, wines made across Spain’s Atlantic regions, both whites and reds, tend to be cool and restrained, strongly reflecting the ocean-influenced climate. They are quite unlike their lush, ripe southern cousins, which mostly come from vineyards that are among the hottest, driest and sunniest in Europe. Conditions along Spain’s Atlantic coast often bear striking similarity to those of southern England and the wines reflect it.

The view from atop emilio moro's malleolus vineyard in pesquera de duero

Central Spain: Tempranillo and Beyond

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2015

Central Spain is a distinctly homogeneous area, geographically speaking. The majority of its red wines are made entirely, or in large part, from Tempranillo, which is Spain’s single most esteemed variety and the grape that most often places the country among the world’s elite wine-growing regions.

Autumn in the high elevation vineyards of granja nuestra se%c3%b1ora de remelluri

The Many Facets of Rioja

Spain, featured

Josh Raynolds, Nov 2015

Diving into the Rioja red wine piscina can be at turns fascinating and confusing. My advice is to approach the region without preconceptions. Rioja produces Tempranillo-based reds that range in style from hyper-traditional, often rustic and austere wines that wouldn’t be unfamiliar to a time traveler from the 19th century to flamboyantly rich, fruit-driven, new oak-influenced bottlings that would blend in well—and even stand out for their sheer quality—in blind flights of high-end Napa or Bordeaux wines.