Direct From Spain

April 2014
Written By: 
James Ginley

These vinos are fabulous, fruity, and fun; no bull!

Rio Madre Rioja 2012

Rioja, Spain $10
Like most wines from Spain, this is an undervalued gem. Cherry and cassis notes with hints of spice blend together with dark fruit flavors. This 100 percent Graciano grape also comes with a floral bouquet and complexity that continues through the finish.  A 91 point rating and 14.5 percent alcohol make it a wine drinker’s wine.    

Venta Morales Tempranillo 2012

LaMancha, Spain $7
LaMancha is a vast plateau ideal for growing many grapes and Tempranillo, the most planted in Spain, thrives in the sandy, rocky, dry soil there. This 100 percent example offers dark chocolate and licorice aromas followed by black fruit flavors and a luscious, deep, mouthwatering palate.       

Kila Cava 2011

Penedes, Spain $10
Cava is sparkling wine from Spain. Kila is blended from three native grapes and 15 percent Chardonnay, which comes through in the apple and pear notes and fresh, creamy taste. It is equal to a Brut, or dry sparkling wine, and is fermented in the bottle for 12 months to develop its character and light body.

El Chaparral Old Vines Garnacha 2011

Navarra, Spain $13
An elegant, 100 percent Grenache, (or Garnacha, as the grape is known in Spain). Harvested from vineyards planted in the early 1900s in a region with a special microclimate and unique soil. All come together to create an elegant, full-bodied wine with notes of black cherry and raspberry. Rated 90 points by Parker.  

Vega Sindoa Chardonnay 2012

Navarra, Spain $13
Ideal limestone, gravel and clay plus a steady Atlantic breeze give great exposure to the Chardonnay grapes in this wine. Aged in French oak, well-balanced with red apple flavors, pineapple and citrus notes and a hint of spice on the finish. Delicious with both fish and fowl.


Photograph by Caroline Phillips and courtesy of K&L Wine Merchants, The Wintery, Andy Caulfield, and Jeffrey Dunn