The Best Value Wines from Spain
The best wines from Spain at the Wine Access 2011 International Value Wine Awards
Already well-established in the United States as a leader in value, Spain’s moment in the Canadian spotlight cannot be far off. There’s an increasingly broad palette of intriguing varieties and wine styles; tellingly, the country’s most-planted and best-known grape, tempranillo, doesn’t figure in this year’s top picks. It was, instead, the rich, warm, generous wines from old garnacha vineyards just south of the Pyrenees, and the full, structured, ultra-ripe monastrells of the Levante that earned the judges’ affections as top-value reds. The inclusion of sparkling Cava among the country’s best is no surprise, but what remains perplexing to all, especially to the people who market it, is the relative unpopularity of sherry. Despite repeatedly earning the judges’ highest admiration, sales remain modest. Try one tonight, dry or sweet, and you cannot help but be impressed by the extraordinary depth and complexity for your money, as we were. (John Szabo)
Photo: Ryan Opaz
Raspberry, perfume and strawberry aromas dominate on the nose of this rosé, a blend of 85 percent tempranillo and 15 percent garnacha. It’s a dry, austere pink wine, with lean rhubarb and dried raspberry notes on the crisp, light-bodied palate, with a splash of watermelon to keep things fresh. The Marqués de Cáceres brings balance in a category where some runners-up were just a touch overdone.