Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world, and for many years it has had a reputation of producing cheap and not very good table wines. In part this is true but the cheap Spanish plonk that was exported to the UK and many other countries in the ‘70s was possibly the worst wine that Spain made. For those that know this exciting and diverse country and have tasted fantastic wines such as Rioja they understand that Spain produces some seriously good wine and here are some of the most famous.
Aged Tempranillo includes such wines as Rioja Reserva, Toro Reserva, and Ribera del Duero. These wines have a distinctive cherry aftertaste with hints of vanilla and dried fig. The biggest thing that you will notice about these wines is that they have a high tannin content as very often these wines are aged in oak barrels. This aging process also soften the acidity and leaves a slightly sweet taste on the palette.
Lovers of French wine will call this Grenache, and the Spanish Garnacha has much of the same qualities. When you taste this wine expect to taste fruit, such as strawberry and grapefruit. This is a lively and fresh wine almost like a glass of fruit juice with an iced tea finish. And this is the reason why it is often used to make Sangria.
These high-end wines tend to come from the regions Priorat, Mentrida, and around Madrid. They have tasting characteristics of red licorice and grilled plums and an overall deep fruity flavor. These wines are made from very old vines and are aged longer in the barrel and bottle than other Spanish wines. Sometimes the Garnacha grape is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to produce more complex wines that land outstanding flavor and taste.
Monastrell wines hail from the regions of Alicante, La Mancha, and Jumilla. They are incredibly deep red in color and have flavors such as chocolate, blackberries, with a lingering smokey aftertaste. The wines have a high tannin content and are intensely bold on the palette. Best enjoyed sipping or as an accompaniment with red meats and strong cheeses. Surprisingly these wines are not overly expensive and are great value for money.
Produced mostly around the Valdoerras, Bierzo, and Ribeira Sacra regions, Mencia wine is delightful. The medium-bodied red wine has flavors of pomegranate and licorice with earthy overtones. Some wine experts compare Mencia wine to that of Grand Cru Burgundy due to its fruity taste and the floral aromas.
Bobal is a uniquely Spanish grape and there is almost nothing else like it. Its defining characteristics are green herbs, violets, and cocoa. Grown in central Spain this grape is still one of the most planted in the country and produces a stunning wine that is deep purple in color. Expect high tannins and black berries on the palette. Spain produces some of the best and most popular wines in the world, forget the supermarket plonk that is exported to foreigners. The best way to enjoy these wines is by visiting Spain.