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10 Spanish Reds worth checking out
18 June 2021 @ 19:16

Tastes in wines have changed in recent years all over Spain. The tendency is to drink less but more frequently. As always, value for money is the key to making the right choice, and while traditional regions like La Rioja continue to lead sales, customers are now much more open to other regions and many are starting to establish themselves rather well.

In the case of Crianza reds (wines aged for at least two years, one of them in oak barrels), what one should be looking for is clear fruity aromas, just enough of a woody scent and a full-flavoured presence on the palate that is easy to appreciate.

Spain has an unbeatable variety of wines to offer consumers in this category, with a wide selection of grape varieties too, among them Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Monastrell, Mencía and Prieto picudo, and the winemaking industry has undergone an extensive overhaul, leading to the production of excellent top class Crianzas in just about every winemaking region in the country . Of course, there are surprisingly good Cianzas in supermarkets from as little as €2,50 but if you fancy something a little more special, the following list reflects the latest market trends in terms of regions and highlights some fantastic wines with a fruity bouquet, mature tannins, and a smooth, well-rounded finish that fully expresses their varied terroir. 

 

 

1. BORSAO TRES PICOS 

  • Winery: Borsao. Borja (Zaragoza).
  • DO: Campo de Borja.
  • Type: Crianza red, 15%.
  • Grape variety: Garnacha.
  • Price: €14.
  • Score: 9.3/10.

There is a density to its aroma that conceals spicy nuances and a hint of oak; the bouquet reveals very ripe fruit with elegant and complex notes. Sweetness and acidity balance each other out in the mouth.

 

 

 

 

 

2. MUGA 

  • Winery: Muga. Haro (La Rioja)
  • DOCa: Rioja.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14%.
  • Blend: Tempranillo, garnacha and some mazuelo and graciano.
  • Price: €16,49
  • Score: 9.3/10.

Intense aroma of red and blackberries, herbal tones, and hints of oak and spice. Powerful in the palate, smooth and with a hint of sweetness, refined and elegant.

 

 

 

 

 

3. PÉTALOS DEL BIERZO

  • Winery: Descendientes de J. Palacios. Villafranca del Bierzo (León).
  • DO: Bierzo.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14.5%.
  • Varietal: Mencía.
  • Price: €15,49
  • Score: 9.3/10.

A deeply aromatic Mencía that makes no effort to hide its fruity nature, enhanced with flowery and herbal overtones. There is a slight presence of spice. Fresh and very fruity on the palate.

 

 

 

 

4. 992 FINCA RÍO NEGRO 

  • Winery: Río Negro. Cogolludo (Guadalajara)
  • IGP: Vino de la Tierra de Castilla.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14%.
  • Blend: Tempranillo, syrah, merlot and some cabernet sauvignon.
  • Price: €10,45
  • Score: 9.2/10.

A well-achieved blend with a predominance of Tempranillo, offering an enticing bouquet characterized by a variety of wild fruit and a hint of flowers and spice. Full-bodied yet smooth.

 

 

 

 

5. CASTAÑO COLECCIÓN CEPAS VIEJAS 

  • Winery: Castaño. Yecla (Murcia)
  • DO: Yecla.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14%.
  • Varietal: Monastrell and cabernet sauvignon.
  • Price: €11.50.
  • Score: 9.2/10.

With the characteristic aroma of these grapes, this wine is infused with mature red and blackberries and a peppering of mountain herbs, spices and roast coffee. Full-bodied, lush, sensual and attractive, fruitiness is the keyword here.

 

 

 

 

 

6. CLUNIA TEMPRANILLO 

  • Type: Crianza red, 14%.
  • DO: Castilla y Leon
  • Varietal: Tempranillo.
  • Price: €15.
  • Score: 9.2/10.

This Tempranillo stands out for its clean aroma of fresh but ripe berries, boosted by hints of flowers, roast coffee and spices. Flavorful and elegant, it reaffirms its fruitiness with an extended aftertaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. EL SENAT DEL MONTSANT 

  • Winery: 7 Magnifics. Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona)
  • DO: Montsant.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14.5%.
  • Varietal: Cariñena (mazuela), garnacha and syrah.
  • Price: €11.75.
  • Score: 9.2/10.

The aroma is intense, complex, lightly reminiscent of liquor, yet fresh and Mediterranean with an abundance of ripe forest fruit and an airy fragrance of brush, underwood and roasted coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. FRONTAURA 

  • Winery: Frontaura. Pesquera de Duero (Valladolid).
  • DO: Toro.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14.5%.
  • Varietal: Tinta de Toro (tempranillo).
  • Price: €15.
  • Score: 9.2/10.

The aroma is concentrated, intense and complex, with a clean, ripe berry flavour framed by wood that contributes subtle hints of spice. Smooth and lush, with an impressively fresh finish.

 

 

 

 

 

9. PRUNO 

  • Winery: Finca Villacreces. Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid)
  • DO: Ribera del Duero.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14%.
  • Varietals: Tinto fino and some cabernet sauvignon.
  • Price: €10.90.
  • Score: 9.2/10.

This wine has an attractive aroma of acid forest fruit that intermingles with delicate notes of Crianza and coffee. Lush on the palate, it is well-structured, with mature tannins, a fruity finish and a spicy, appealing freshness.

 

 

 

 

 

10. VAL DE LOS FRAILES 

  • Winery: Valdelosfrailes. Cubillas de Santa Marta (Valladolid)
  • DO: Cigales.
  • Type: Crianza red, 14.5%.
  • Varietal: Tempranillo.
  • Price: €10.
  • Score: 9.1/10.

This wine offers up a fresh aroma of ripe berries, with a hint of brushwood and spice. Lush, with a clean and fruity finish.



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