About The Pack
Spanish wine has 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 to balance the traditional, powerful wines that many have grown to love.
Here is an easy way to see some of the great stuff that's hit Australian shores recently, both modern and traditional.
2019 Legado del Moncayo Garnacha
Bright and lively Grenache from the mountain country of Campo do Borja in north east Spain.
A vine to vat to bottle wine, with no oak interference, this is gentle and silky, cherries and spices, crunch and length.
Legado del Moncayo is Legacy of Moncayo, which is the extinct volcano where the vineyards can be found. Cold and windy in winter, dry and exceedingly hot in summer, it is one of the wonders of wine that such inhospitable locations produce such hospitable welcoming wines.Read more about 2019 Legado del Moncayo Garnacha
2020 Mengoba Bierzo Brezo Mencia
Gregory Perez is one of the most exciting young guns in Bierzo.
After years spent studying and applying his craft in some of Bordeaux's top Chateaus, Gregory (a native Frenchman) was lured to Spain by a friend's encouragement. It was a move that launched one of the most interesting wine producing projects in the region today.
Perez works his vineyards with traditional practices: ploughing the vineyards using cattle, no chemical sprays, allowing the indigenous varieties to find harmony in their native environment. In the winery, those same themes continue, where native yeasts spark spontaneous ferments and the wines are allowed time to develop texture on lees before bottling.
This is a juicy, flavoursome example of Mencia with a dash of Alicante Bouschet from 30-year-old vines at 550m ASL. It's a lively red, crunchy and vibrant, not dissimilar in style to the best expressions of 'Cru' Beaujolais today.
Owner/ winemaker Gregory Perez is as passionate about traditional farming of local varieties as he is about motocross - and he is very good at both!Read more about 2020 Mengoba Bierzo Brezo Mencia
2019 Venta la Vega Adaras Aldea
Ripe and bright, this wine is a typical expression of this new modern Spanish explosion that we’ve seen over the past few years.
Elegant new wave Garnacha Tintorera blended with Syrah to produce a wine that is vibrant, fresh and so lively. There is a real purity to the wines of Raul Perez, they are lithe, and without any heaviness. This flies in the face of convention with red-fleshed grapes such as Garnacha Tintorera, which are generally fuller-bodied and heavier.
With the largest holdings in Europe of this rare-to-our-shores varietal, the wines of Venta la Vega provide a real point of difference in the market, and like much of the new-wave of Spanish producers, are exceptional value for money European wines.Read more about 2019 Venta la Vega Adaras Aldea
2020 Bodegas Exopto Rioja Bozeto de Exopto
Tom Puyaubert's Rioja wines are finer expressions, with no American oak, and fruit sourced from higher altitude vineyards, many organic (no mean feat in Rioja).
The Bozeto is his bargain red offering, a gorgeous blend here that features 40% Grenache, Tempranillo & a splash of Graciano coaxed into a silky yet spicy wine of supreme drinkability.
A hands-off approach gives the wine a natural feel. Fermentation is in both concrete and tank, then ageing in concrete and large old oak. Some semi-carbonic maceration adds to aromatic lift and a bouncy tang. Lovers of Spanish reds, jump on in!Read more about 2020 Bodegas Exopto Rioja Bozeto de Exopto
2020 Telmo Rodriguez Dehesa Gago Tinta de Toro
A full-bodied but energetic Spanish red from the Toro region north west of Madrid, sourced from a high altitude rocky vineyard.
With no additions apart from minimal sulphur at bottling, and no oak ageing, this is a natural expression of the local Tinta de Toro grape, which the locals would call an 'evolved cultivar' of Tempranillo. We would not impress them by referring to it as a Temp!
Big wine with lots of dark flavours; black cherry, cassis and some succulent liquorice, but with all-natural feisty grape tannin to close.Read more about 2020 Telmo Rodriguez Dehesa Gago Tinta de Toro
2018 Tentenublo Xerico Tempranillo
Creative young winemaker Roberto Olivan is a Spanish star on the rise. Xerico is his smart house blend, woven from Tempranillo and the lesser seen local white grape Viura.
Though almost unoaked, this new wave Rioja is no lightweight guzzler.
There’s real intent here with subtly spiced dark cherry fruit, woody herbs and a good firm hand of tannin.Read more about 2018 Tentenublo Xerico Tempranillo