The wines of Spain can be ultra-luxe, but most of the time you’ll find amazing values from this warm region, known for its aggressive reds. Today we look at a trio of wines from España for your springtime enjoyment.
2018 Clos de Nit Montsant – Montsant is the region surrounding Priorat. A blend of 40% garnacha, 25% cariñena, 20% merlot, 10% tempranillo, and 5% cabernet sauvignon, this is the most well-rounded wine in the lineup, offering a seductive character informed by notes of licorice, cocoa nibs, and a rustic, macerated currant and cherry character. A bit dusty with notes of powdered graphite and turned earth, the wine opens up with time in glass to show off notes of roasted mushroom, touches of rhubarb, and a light, white pepper note. Easy-drinking but complex, with lots going on well beyond its price level. Best value. A- / $12
2016 Bodegas Burgo Viejo Rioja Crianza – A sharp and fairly blunt blend of 90% tempranillo and 10% graciano. Rather sour on first blush, with notes of stewed cherries and a heavily oaky character dominating. It lets up a little with time in glass, but not much, finishing with a layer of spice and a thick slick of tannins. A rather straightforward, affordable crianza that would benefit from more time to settle down, either in barrel or bottle. B- / $15 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
2018 Bodega San Gregorio Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha – From Calatayud, in northeast Spain. A licorice whip of a wine, with notes of dark chocolate, dried figs, and an ample tannic character on the back end. Some notes of charred wood and a slightly maderized note infuse the finish with a balsamic punch. Lots going on here, but on its own the wine is surprisingly aggressive. Temper it with a plate of bolognese. B / $10 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]