About The Pack
Spainish wine been undergoing something of a renaissance in recent years, with a new generation of producers redefining the vinous landscape for both countries.
Spain's rising stars are putting a fresher spin on Rioja, utilising their incredible old vine resources to craft more youthful wines that speak of their unique terroir.
They are reimagining the Mencias of the north-west to new heights; crafting creative, fresher reds from all around the country and even reimagining the famous wines of Jerez!
Here is an easy way to see some of the great stuff that's hit Australian shores recently.
2017 DaTerra Camino De La Frontera Tinto
Laura Lorenzo is turning plenty of heads in the Ribeira Sacra sub-region of Galicia.
She's rejuvenating the vinous landscape of a region that was largely overlooked by the discerning wine lover, with her salt-of-the-earth demeanour, raw, impassioned commitment to organic farming and low-intervention approach to winemaking.
Her wines are shockingly good. She shapes them with a gentle hand from mostly 80-120 year old vines, looking to tell the story of the local culture and the landscape with a transparency that few producers in the region can match.
This is mostly the Juan Garcia grape, with a little Tempranillo, Bobal, Rufete, Mencia and Garnacha from vines over 100-years-old. Wild yeasts, gentle extraction, old French oak casks for ageing - what has emerged is a dynamic, thirst-slaking red of great charisma. Tempranillo and friends at it's most vibrant and friendly.
Laura is a weapon of a winemaker - if you to see what she's all about, here's the best place to start.Read more about 2017 DaTerra Camino De La Frontera Tinto
2017 Xerico Vinaspre Tinto
Roberto Olivan produces wonderful modern expressions of Rioja from a vineyard inherited from his grandfather in 2011.
This is a lively, vibrant version of a red table wine made as an homage to the traditional Rioja reds of old. It sees old vine, organically farmed Tempranillo blended with a healthy splash of Viura to give the wine a little extra pep and zip.
Hailed as one of the leading next-generation producers of the region, Roberto is doing great things for Rioja.
This, his most popular wine, is the perfect way to get acquainted with his vivacious winemaking style.Read more about 2017 Xerico Vinaspre Tinto
2017 Bodegas Pirineos Principio Moristel
Somontano is a cool northern Spanish region at the base of the Pyrenees.
A collective of over 230 small growers in the region banded together under the banner of Bodega Prineos to preserve the local winemaking custom.
Moristel is a red skinned grape found only in this small pocket of Spain. As the families have ripped up and replanted more popular varieties over the years, the variety has almost gone extinct. It now makes up less than 2% of all plantings in the Somontano DO.
This may be the only straight varietal bottling of Moristel you will find anywhere in the world. And it's delicious. It's a rich, chocolatey, slippery red that shows plums, dates and soft, silky tannins. It's a great value curio for those looking for one-of-a-kind wines on the fringe.Read more about 2017 Bodegas Pirineos Principio Moristel
2017 Costes del Sio Petit Sios Tinto
This top value red blend comes from the Porcioles-Buixó family in Catalonia.
The patriarch of the family, Juan de Porcioles, purchased their property in 1992. With the help of his friends and family, he put down vines with a view to combine the terroir of his home with lessons learnt from the great producers of France.
To that end, he planted a mix of Frenache and Spanish varieties on his property, looking to create something of a fusion wine style from the two countries.
This is a big, luscious, easy-drinking red made from predominantly Tempranillo with a splash of Garnacha and Cabernet thrown in for good measure. Smooth, spicy and very easy to know back - for under $25 you really can't go wrong here.Read more about 2017 Costes del Sio Petit Sios Tinto
2016 Veronica Ortega Quite Mencia
Though she grew up in Cadiz surrounded by the smells of Sherry and the ocean, it was red wine that took Veronica Ortega's heart.
She travelled the New World (Burn Cottage, Central Otago) and the Old World (Comte Armand and DRC in Burgundy and Domaine Combier in Crozes-Hermitage) before finding her one true love, Mencia, and settling in Bierzo.
Mencia can take on many forms - from lighter expressions similar to Pinot Noir or Gamay - to fuller bodied examples closer to Syrah - Veronica looks to show her pet variety in all its forms.
'Quite' is her lighter, earlier drinking expression. It's picked from 80-year-old organically-farmed vines and was raised in a mixture of French oak and amphora. Filled with red berries and floral top notes, it's a whimsical red wine of great character and epic drinkability.Read more about 2016 Veronica Ortega Quite Mencia
2016 Suertes del Marques 7 Fuentes El Lance
Wines from the Canary Islands, you say? Where's that?
The Canary Islands lay off the western coast of Morocco but are officially part of Spain. Some of the vines on these islands were planted over 200 years ago or more, some say. Regardless, there's a rich history of producing wines on these small volcanic islands and there's a new generation making waves releasing modern, energetic wines from their ancient viticultural resources.
Jonatan Garcia Lima with his label Suertes del Marques is one such producer. A hands-off approach to his craft is yielding tense, exotic wines of singular character. They really are like nothing we have tried before.
This red blend combines two native varieties: Listán Negro and Tintilla into a smoky, earthy, meaty red with a wild streak. If you're an adventurous wine drinker, these wines need to be on your radar - wines from the Canary Islands are a unique experience to drink.Read more about 2016 Suertes del Marques 7 Fuentes El Lance