Spanish Red Wine

 
 
Spain wine regions
 
 

Valtonar Barrica D.O. Ribera del Duero 2014 75cl
Valtonar is an excellent small family winery run by the father and his two sons, although one of them only works there part time. They own 30 hectares consisting of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. They farm organically but refuse to go for certification, as it is expensive and they don't believe they should have to pay to make wine properly - and I fully agree with them, as EU Organic certification rules are very lax and it's no longer a guarantee of a natural healthy wine.

They harvest everything by hand and ferment the grapes with only their natural yeasts. They don't filter the wine either, instead they move the barrels outside overnight where the drop in temperature clarifies the wine through a natural process. They make wine traditionally and use virtually no additives.

100% Tempranillo aged in French oak for 12 months. This wine is lovely. Below are Valtonar's tasting notes:

"This wine is made with Tempranillo vines situated around Anguix, Roa and Pedrosa de Duero, in the heart of Ribera del Duero. Intense cherry red colour. In the nose is complex: vanilla, toffee, spices, and mature red fruit. Very friendly in mouth, soft aftertaste with a long and lingering finish."

My tasting notes from some months ago state:

Deep ruby in colour with big legs. Black fruit with some vanilla. Soft mouthfeel like "dusty plums", very smooth and balanced.



Further Information on Valtonar Barrica D.O. Ribera del Duero 2014 75cl

Price: £10.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
20 mg/l
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Valtonar Barrica D.O. Ribera del Duero 2014 75cl
 
 

Valtonar Crianza D.O. Ribera del Duero 2010 75cl
Valtonar is an excellent small family winery run by the father and his two sons, although one of them only works there part time. They own 30 hectares consisting of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. They farm organically but refuse to go for certification, as it is expensive and they don't believe they should have to pay to make wine properly - and I fully agree with them, as EU Organic certification rules are very lax and it's no longer a guarantee of a natural healthy wine.

They harvest everything by hand and ferment the grapes with only their natural yeasts. They don't filter the wine either, instead they move the barrels outside overnight where the drop in temperature clarifies the wine through a natural process. They make wine traditionally and use virtually no additives.

97% Tempranillo & 3% Cabernet Sauvingon, aged 14 months in French oak barrels. Here are Valtonar's tasting notes:

"This wine is made with Tempranillo vines situated around Anguix, Roa and Pedrosa de Duero, in the heart of Ribera del Duero. Dark cherry red with garnet highlights. Intense dark fruit aroma (wild blackberries, blueberry jam) with smoky and roasted (coffee) notes against a wonderfully elegant oaky backdrop. A serious wine with juicy tannins, velvety and round thanks to the perfume of oak aging (dried plums)."

My tasting notes say:

Very deep ruby, almost opaque. A nose of fruit, cream and vanilla. Lovely big black fruits on the palate. It's a big wine, full bodied and smooth with a savoury finish.



Further Information on Valtonar Crianza D.O. Ribera del Duero 2010 75cl

Price: £12.95



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
32 mg/l
Sustainable Farming

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Valtonar Crianza D.O. Ribera del Duero 2010 75cl
 
 

Herederos 1808 Valcavada Semi Crianza D.O.C. Rioja 2014 75cl
A fantastic new wine from this superb boutique winery in Rioja.

As it is so new, no images exist of it yet - I took this image on my phone and cropped it.

The wine itself is beautiful. Plenty of body, super smooth and integrated as all Herederos's wines are. Like their other wines it is low in sulphites and additives as they farm biodynamically and use absolute minimal additives or manipulation.

Great value. We predict this will be a big seller.



Further Information on Herederos 1808 Valcavada Semi Crianza D.O.C. Rioja 2014 75cl

Price: £10.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
29 mg/l
Sustainable Farming

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Herederos 1808 Valcavada Semi Crianza D.O.C. Rioja 2014 75cl
 
 

Herederos 1808 Crianza D.O.C. Rioja 2012 75cl
Herederos de Perfecto Martinez 1808 Crianza to give the wine it's full name!

The Martinez family began producing wines in the beautiful town of Laguardia back in the 16th century. Today they are still there making these handcrafted wines in tiny quantities. Their total production is just 40,000 bottles per year. They practice sustainable methods and always ferment the grapes with their own natural yeasts. They produce some delicious outstanding wines.

The grapes were all hand picked. The wine was aged in American oak for 12 months then bottle aged for a further 6 months before release.

There's good fruit flavour with a hint of vanilla. The wine is very smooth with great balance, as it is made naturally without any acid rectification or other trickery. Herederos farm biodynamically and use minimal oeeological products during the winemaking, producing a pure wine that tastes as wine should!

The photo does not do this wine justice - it is in a broad shouldered heavyweight bottle (as you can see). Everything about it is high quality. These bottles are so elegant the daughter wouldn't let us throw the sample bottles away but wanted them herself for keeping olive oil in! You can't tell this from a 2D image on screen, but trust me they do look great. All the wines from Herederos are impressive and the fabulous presentation just adds an extra dimension, leaving you in no doubt they are real boutique wines.



Further Information on Herederos 1808 Crianza D.O.C. Rioja 2012 75cl

Price: £12.49



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Sustainable Farming

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Herederos 1808 Crianza D.O.C. Rioja 2012 75cl
 
 

Herederos 1808 Reserva D.O.C. Rioja 2010/11 75cl
The grapes were all hand picked. The wine was aged in American oak for 18 months then bottle aged for a further 6 months before release. This wine has really grown on me and is often a wine of choice us as we both like it's natural style. Herederos farm biodynamically and inform us that all their wines are low in sulphites (under 30 ppm free SO2 in all of them). Delicious fruit with noticeable vanilla from the oak. Not a big hitter, far more elegance rather than power. Great balance and very smooth, and not over dry on the finish as many Riojas can be.

The photo does not do this wine justice - it is in a broad shouldered heavyweight bottle (as you can see). Everything about it is high quality. These bottles are so elegant the daughter wouldn't let us throw the sample bottles away but wanted them herself for keeping olive oil in! You can't tell this from a 2D image on screen, but trust me they do look great. All the wines from Herederos are impressive and the fabulous presentation just adds an extra dimension, leaving you in no doubt they are real boutique wines.



Further Information on Herederos 1808 Reserva D.O.C. Rioja 2010/11 75cl

Price: £13.99



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Herederos 1808 Reserva D.O.C. Rioja 2010/11 75cl
 
 

Herederos 1808 Seleccion D'Autor D.O.C. Rioja 2010 75cl
This is their flagship wine.

The grapes were all hand picked. The wine was aged in American oak for 6 months then bottle aged for a further 20 months before release. Please note the ageing times here which will give you a clue as to the style of the wine. It has had only 6 months in oak, so less than a Reserva and considerably less than Gran Reserva. Herederos have gone for a smooth, elegant style of wine rather than a heavyweight blockbuster.

The photo actually shows the Crianza. As this wine is so rare we don't have an image yet, but it is similar.



Further Information on Herederos 1808 Seleccion D'Autor D.O.C. Rioja 2010 75cl

Price: £19.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

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Herederos 1808 Seleccion D'Autor D.O.C. Rioja 2010 75cl
 
 

Incredulo D.O. Toro 2010 75cl
90 Points Guia Penin

We are just receiving new stock which will be the 2010 vintage. Below are notes on the 2009.

Bodega Pago de Cubas is a new winery established in 2007 by a group of wine lovers to showcase the incredible potential of the Toro region. For anybody not familiar with the Spanish wine regions, DO Toro and DO Bierzo are the two most exciting emerging regions for red wines in the country. They work with Spain's signature red grape Tempranillo (known locally as Tinto de Toro) . Like Ribera Del Duero, Toro is quickly gaining a reputation for producing some of the best boutique wines in Spain, and in my opinion this is one of them.

The winery is located in the village of Valdefinjas. The winemaker is Rosa Maria Zarza, Toro's top female winemaker. They released their first vintage 2008, producing just 18,000 bottles. So we have found this winery just as they are starting out, with their second ever vintage 2009.

This Incredulo is beautiful. I don't have my notes as we took our tasting sample to Carlo's so he could try it too. We were all very impressed. Big and juicy, powerful yet sophisticated, this is a great wine. I'll post more detailed notes as soon as I retaste it, but trust me this is a special wine and great value for money.

This wine was made naturally and not filtered so there will be a little sediment.



Further Information on Incredulo D.O. Toro 2010 75cl

Price: £19.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

Penin
John's Rating

92 Points
Free Sulphur
10 mg/l
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Incredulo D.O. Toro 2010 75cl
 
 

Asterisco D.O. Toro 2013 75cl
Berlin Wine Trophy 2015 - Gold Medal

Bodega Pago de Cubas is a new winery established in 2007 by a group of wine lovers to showcase the incredible potential of the Toro region. For anybody not familiar with the Spanish wine regions, DO Toro and DO Bierzo are the two most exciting emerging regions for red wines in the country. They work with Spain's signature red grape Tempranillo (known locally as Tinto de Toro) . Like Ribera Del Duero, Toro is quickly gaining a reputation for producing some of the best boutique wines in Spain.

The winery is located in the village of Valdefinjas. The winemaker is Rosa Maria Zarza, Toro's top female winemaker.

This Asterisco spent 6 months in oak. Vanilla on the nose and good legs sticking to the side of the glass. Deep purple in colour. Good fruit on entry followed by a dry finish. This wine is pretty tight on opening so I recommend you give it at least half an hour to breathe then it softens noticeably.

This wine was made naturally and not filtered so there will be alittle sediment.



Further Information on Asterisco D.O. Toro 2013 75cl

Price: £10.00



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

BWT
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
23 mg/l
Sustainable Farming

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Asterisco D.O. Toro 2013 75cl
 
 

Bodegas Campina Contadero Vinas Centenarias Crianza D.O. Toro 2011 75cl
Bodegas Campina was formed in 2003 by a collection of local vineyard owners who wanted to produce quality wines. The vineyards were all well established, all at least 40 years old, many far older, and they believed these could produce top quality fruit to create superior wines.

Like Bodega Pago de Cubas above, they also employed top local winemaker Rosa Maria Zarza,

The grapes (Tempranillo) are all sourced from vines over 100 years old at altitude, and the wine spends ten months in oak.This is a big wine, more "Rioja Gran Reserva" style than a simple Crianza to me. Very deep ruby in colour with a big nose of red fruits. On the palate it is big and full flavoured with the fruit, vanilla, oak and acidty all in balance. If you like big powerful wines this should be right up your street. You'd certainly have to pay a lot more than this to find a comparable wine from Rioja.

There will be some sediment as Rosa prefers to leave all the natural goodness in rather than filter it out.



Further Information on Bodegas Campina Contadero Vinas Centenarias Crianza D.O. Toro 2011 75cl

Price: £10.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Sustainable Farming

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Bodegas Campina Contadero Vinas Centenarias Crianza D.O. Toro 2011 75cl
 
 

Bodegas Campina Contadero Joven D.O. Toro 2014 75cl
Bodegas Campina was formed in 2003 by a collection of local vineyard owners who wanted to produce quality wines. The vineyards were all well established, all at least 40 years old, many far older, and they believed these could produce top quality fruit to create superior wines.

Like Bodega Pago de Cubas above, they also employed top local winemaker Rosa Maria Zarza,

This "Joven" is a young unoaked wine. It is a lovely for the price, very natural tasting. Red and black fruit flavours, soft mouthfeel, fairly full bodied with a dry finish. Ideal with barbeque or roast meats. It will have only had a light filtering if any, so there will be a little sediment as Rosa prefers to leave all the natural goodness in rather than filter it out.



Further Information on Bodegas Campina Contadero Joven D.O. Toro 2014 75cl

Price: £8.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
30 mg/l
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Bodegas Campina Contadero Joven D.O. Toro 2014 75cl
 
 

Juan Simon Organic Cartan Joven D.O. Navarra 2014 75cl
A lovely natural wine from this tiny producer who is a pioneer in BIO viticulture in Navarra. Juan only makes two wines, and makes very small quantities of each.

This Cartan "Joven" is a young unoaked wine consisting of 50% each Tempranillo and Garnacha. Highly recommended.



Further Information on Juan Simon Organic Cartan Joven D.O. Navarra 2014 75cl

Price: £8.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
13 mg/l
Organic Certification
Sustainable Farming

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Juan Simon Organic Cartan Joven D.O. Navarra 2014 75cl
 
 

Juan Simon Organic Seleccion D'Autor D.O. Navarra 2013 75cl
Another lovely natural wine from this tiny producer who is a pioneer in BIO viticulture in Navarra. Juan only makes two wines, and makes very small quantities of each.

This Seleccion D'Autor is a blend of 50% each Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 6 months in French oak.

It's deep ruby in colour with big legs. Big black fruit on the nose. Dark fruits and black cherry on the palate. Very smooth and well balanced, very natural with a dry finish. Great wine.



Further Information on Juan Simon Organic Seleccion D'Autor D.O. Navarra 2013 75cl

Price: £10.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
10 mg/l
Organic Certification
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Juan Simon Organic Seleccion D'Autor D.O. Navarra 2013 75cl
 
 

Bodegas y Vinedos La Senda Vindemiatrix D.O. Bierzo 2015 75cl
This is a lovely wine, but unfortunately they only make 5000 bottles per year so it sells out pretty fast.

Bierzo is a really exciting emerging wine D.O. producing some of the best value for money wines in Spain. I tasted this blind and instantly valued it at £14.99 retail so imagine my surprise to find we can do it for less than £10. Made from a blend of local grapes, 80% Mencia, 10% Palomino and 10% Dona Blanca fermented in concrete with no wood. La Senda practice minimal interventionalist sustainable farming and winemaking. This is a natural wine, unfiltered.

It's dark ruby in colour with good legs.Very soft, velvet smooth in the mouth with plenty of fruit and good palate cleansing acidity. It reminded me strongly of a good Gigondas we enjoyed in Vaison la Romanee a few years back. Very natural in style. I strongly recommend it.

Presentation for this 2015 has changed slightly but we can't get an up to date photo so we're sticking with this image which is very similar.



Further Information on Bodegas y Vinedos La Senda Vindemiatrix D.O. Bierzo 2015 75cl

Price: £9.49



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

90 Points
Free Sulphur
20 mg/l
No wood used
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Bodegas y Vinedos La Senda Vindemiatrix D.O. Bierzo 2015 75cl
 
 

Bodegas y Vinedos La Senda 1984 D.O. Bierzo 2015 75cl
Another fantastic natural wine. This time made from 100% Mencia grapes from three separate vineyards in the hills on slate soils.

The wine was secondary fermented in oak and aged for a further 5 months in barrel. It is also deep ruby in colour with good legs. Red and black fruit flavours, very natural with supreme balance. It is very elegant and subtle. Fantastic wine.

Presentation for this 2015 has changed slightly but we can't get an up to date photo so we're sticking with this image which is very similar.



Further Information on Bodegas y Vinedos La Senda 1984 D.O. Bierzo 2015 75cl

Price: £11.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

90 Points
Free Sulphur
10 mg/l
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Bodegas y Vinedos La Senda 1984 D.O. Bierzo 2015 75cl