Wines are the highlight for all glamorous parties. You can choose from a myriad of options, but no wine can ever beat Spanish red wines.
Spain is the third-largest producer of wine in the world. The popular types of Spanish wine are sherry, fortified wine, and the Parellade grape-based Cava.
Spanish red wine’s complex aroma and flavors pair well with any type of food. If you are inquisitive about Spanish red wines and wish to learn about them, you have come to the right place!
Here is a detailed guide about Spanish red wine.
Table of Contents
- Spanish Red Wine Classifications
- Aging Period
- Spanish Red Wine Making Process
- Best Spanish Red Wines to Buy
- EndNote – Best Spanish Red Wine
Spanish Red Wine Classifications
Here is a glimpse into the classification of Spanish red wine in ascending order of quality, based on origin.
Vino de Mesa
This is a basic table wine that is made in unclassified vineyards. It is blended but bears no vintage or detail about the grape varieties.
Vino de la Tierra
This type of wine is equivalent to the French Vin de pays. This table wine belongs from a defined geographical origin. This wine is of vintage quality and gives detail about the grape varieties.
Denominacion de Origen (DO)
Spanish DO system is equivalent to French VDQS or AC and Italian DOC. It covers wines made within the defined parameters of a particular regional regulating council.
Brand Denominacin de Origen (DOCa)
When it comes to superior Spanish red wines, their origin can be traced back to regions like Rioja, Priorat, or Ribera del Duero. Like French wines, Spanish red wines have been named after the region they are produced in.
When you are choosing a wine, you must look for the letters ‘ D.O’. They are an indication of superior and high-quality wine.
D.O Rioja wines are produced around the La Rioja region (Basque Country and Navarre). These wines are matured in oak barrels which given them an oaky taste. When wines mention ‘Gran Reserva’, it means that they have been kept in the oak for two years.
Along with its full-blooded reds, Rioja is famous for its oaky white as well.
Rioja wines are made from shelled grapes. In them, at least 95% of Garnacha tinta, Mazuelo, Tempranillo and Maturana tinta grape varieties are used.
Top recommendations include:
- Cationo Rioja Reserva- Combination of fruits and herbs
- Bodegas Artevino Rioja Orben- Tannic and full-bodied with fruit layers
- Finca Allende Aurus – Vintage blend primarily of Tempranillo.
This region in Spain is one of the highest quality producers of wine. It is in the Catalonia region. The volcanic quality of the soil in this region gives a unique taste to the wine.
The production is less as compared to other regions due to the hard quality of the soil. However, Priorat wines are distinctly spectacular and popular. They are dense, concentrated with slight sweetness.
The grape varieties used include Garnacha, Cabernet, Carignena and Carinena, etc.
Top recommendations include:
- Palacios Camins del Priorat- Cherry-coloured wine with fresh red fruit aroma.
- Palacios Les Terrasses- Licorice and balanced wine with a fruity aroma.
Ribera del Duero
This region is home to one of the most popular bodegas in Spain, Vega Sicilia. Its ruby red wines are world-renowned and compete Rioja wines in quality and taste. The wines in Ribera del Duero are full-bodied and oaky in flavor.
In Ribera del Duero, red wine is made from Tempranillo grapes, just like in rioja. Here the variety is called Tinto Fino.
Top recommendations include
- Protos Reserva- Intense woody and fruity aroma with a long aftertaste.
- Pago de los Capellanes Reserva – Pomegranate-cherry wine
- Pesquera Reserva- Cherry red wine with the aroma of black fruit.
Spanish wines can be classified based on aging periods as well. The greater the aging period is the better the quality of the wine. Here are the classifications based on the aging period of the wine.
- Joven: These are young wines that are harvested after a year.
- Crianza: These wines are aged for two years ( six months in an oak barrel)
- Reserva: Reserva wines are at least three years old. They are kept in Oak barrels for 1 year.
- Gran Reserva: These wines are aged for at least five years. Gran Reserva wines are then kept in oak barrels for 2 years.
Spanish Red Wine Making Process
Novel wine making techniques have been incorporated to produce high-quality wines. Unlike before, red wines have balanced acidity. The Vintners use Verdejo (white grapes) to do so.
However, due to this practice, the full-bodied taste got altered. Hence, temperature control and stainless-steel vats were brought into use. This process enables the winemakers to control fermentation, sweetness, and alcohol content.
Initially, Spanish winemakers used French Oak barrels, but as the industry became popular and global, new barrels from varied origins were brought into use. Industries now use Eastern European, Hungarian, or American oak barrels, apart from French ones.
Best Spanish Red Wines to Buy
Here is a list of the finest Spanish red wine you can ask for!
1995 Dominio de Pingus ‘Pingus’
This wine finds its origin in the high plateau of Castilla and Leon in Spain. Pingus winemakers are immensely popular for their vintage and lip-smacking wines. They received a lot of popularity because of their very first vintage in 1995.
This succulent has a blackberry and black olive scent. It has been made from 100% tempranillo. In wine making process no filtration or fining has been done. The average age of vines used for its making is 70 years. Also, the aging consists of 18-20 months in oak barrique.
The price of 1995 Dominio de Pingus ‘Pingus’ is $968.
2004 Artadi Vina El Pison
Artadi vineyard in Rioja emerged in 1985. They specialize in Garnacha and tempranillo wines with smooth tannins. 2004 by Artadi has distinctive notes of espresso, Asian spices, and balsamic. Its perfume is ethereal and mind-blowing.
It is purple/ black in color and consists of dried herbs along with ripe black fruits. It is made primarily from tempranillo. It is drinkable from 2015 to 2060.
Its elegant and balanced taste made it famous. It has even secured a position in the perfect 100 lists of wines compiled by world-renowned wine critic Robert Parker.
The price of 2004 Artadi Vina El Pison is around $425.
2009 Descendientes de J. Palacios La Faraona
This wine originates from the hills of Bierzo in northwestern Spain. The winemakers are well known for their Mencia grape brews. This 2009 vintage has an enticing deep aroma of oak, wild fruits, and spices. Its aging potential expires in 2022.
The wine contains 14% alcohol content. It has a dark and rich purple appearance. The wild forest fruits and oak layers intertwine to present a spectacular drink. The balanced aroma and acidity make this elegant drink one of the best options.
The lingering perfume of the wine is simply exquisite.
The price of the wine is around $1125.
2013 Cellar Mas Doix 1902 Centenary Carignan
The centenary collection is an attempt by Mas Doix to bring Priorat wine making history to life. They are made from old vines of Carginan which were planted back in 1902. The grapes are hand-harvested and carefully sorted.
The percentage of alcohol found in this wine is 14.5%. It has been aged for 16 months in French oak barrels.
It is suggested to decant this red wine made from the centenary vine for a minimum of 2 hours. This bright cherry is bold and elegant. The peculiar spices used in this wine give it a rich aroma and taste.
Price of 2013 Cellar Mas Doix 1902 Centenary Carignan is around $265.
2006 Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva
This is a classic Ribera del Duero wine is made by the finest winemaker in Spain, Vega Sicilia. It is deep red in color and has a floral aroma. Its perfume has notes of blackberries, cedar, spices, and mint.
The consistency is good and dense. Its aftertaste lasts for several minutes. It has been made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Tinto Fino grapes. This harmonious blend is well balanced and has hints of black pepper, tobacco, and ripe plum. It is a cherry with brown edges.
This wine is simply refined and lavish. It oozes whiffs of American oak.
The price of the wine is around $668.
1964 La Rioja Alta S.A Gran Reserva 904
La Rioja Alta was founded in 1890. It is well known for its red blend and intoxicating wins. in 1964 has the intertwined taste of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Macabeo grapes. It has the fragrance of crushed flowers along with a silky-smooth texture.
This sensual drink is perfectly blended. It has a tawny rim with a brick core. It has been aged in barrel for 5 years and in bottle for 5 years before release. It tastes like a great old Burgundy and its freshness and complexity is some of the finest.
The Rioja blend is truly the finest and exquisite wine of the region.
The price of the wine is around $271.
2009 Bodegas Muga Aro
This is a versatile Riajo blend is made from Graciano and Tempranillo grape varieties. The combination makes the wine elegant and robust. The wine has mineral-rich terroir with hints of orange sorbet.
It has a 13.5% alcohol content. The wine is aged for 24 months in oak barrels from France. Its perfume has delicate toasted notes and leather remembrance. When it comes to taste, the wine has an excellent balance between wooden notes and lush fruit.
The acidity is well maintained, and its slightly rugged tannins promote long aging potential.
The price of the wine is around $403.
2010 Teso La Monja
The wine originates from the Toro region. This region is famous specifically for its full-bodied wines made primarily from Tempranillo. Teso La Monja 2010 is a classic vintage with spectacular expression and rich style.
The wine is cherry red in color and has an intense aroma of red fruit. It is dark purple in color and comes with an earthy aroma. When it comes to taste, the wine has notes of dark fruit, harsh tannins, pepper, and forest. It has a 13% alcohol content.
This wine is thoroughly lavish and refined. It is the right choice for your personal cellar.
Price of 2010 Teso La Monja is around $1066.
EndNote – Best Spanish Red Wine
The aromas and the taste of wine make a meal truly fulfilling. Wine has become an essential drink all around the world. Spanish red wine is one of the most famous wines in Europe and other parts of the globe.
These sensual wines can be a great investment, but the satisfaction that you receive is beyond expectation. Spanish red wines come with varied styles and tastes. Hence, they are surely a great alternative to impress your guests with!