Are you lost ordering good Spanish red wine?
Style and quality. These are the two adjectives that describe red wines from Spain. Most of them are made of Tempranillo and Granache grapes, and unless we are talking about young wines, they are mostly aged in oak barrels. That’s why it’s important to know the types of Spanish wines based in the time that one wine has been aging in the barrel (in increasing order): Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.
There are also many different Origin Denominations famous for their reds, and every restaurant wants to offer their clients something unique, but that makes it hard to get familiar with the cellars if every time you open the red wine list you can’t recognize any of them! So we’ve started scanning the wine lists in our favorite venues, and we eventually figure out a few that tend to appear more often. We’ve selected for you, so you can order your Spanish red wine with confidence next time.
These are our favorite red Spanish wine brands:
Protos. The name of this wine means “the first”, a good choice as it was the first winery to open in their region: Ribera del Duero. Since then, this winery has become of the most awarded cellars, both for its quality and great work. They mostly produce Tempranillo red wine, but they also make some good white wine with Verdejo grapes.
Camins del Priorat. Álvaro Palacio, a famous Spanish winemaker, arrived to Priorat in the 1990’s and fell in love of the region. He started to make Catalan red wine with the old vines that were growing in that slate and quartzite soil. All the grapes used for Camins del Priorat come from 10 to 40 years old vineyards of Grenache, Samsó, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot vines. It’s aged 7 months in French oak barrels, but the wood flavour doesn’t overcome its characteristic mineral taste, so unusual amongst the wines of Spain.
Enate. This winery is the main reference of the Somontano region, producing mostly red Spanish wines. Its name comes from the words “en” and “arte”, meaning “art and wine”. Because they consider wine-making as and art, and all their label designs are designed by famous contemporary artists. They have a large range of wines from the classic crianzas to single-variety wines: good Spanish red wine for all budgets.
Muga. I could not forget to mention Spanish Rioja wine, as Rioja is probably the most famous Spanish red wine region. This young winery is one of my favorites for its simplicity and the quality of their wines. They combine hand-made tradition with innovation and technology. The barrels they use are made by their own coopers, making a huge difference with other wines.
Gran Caus. Can Ràfol dels Caus is our choice for the Penedes region; one of our favorite Spanish wine country areas to visit. Located in one of the most beautiful real states Penedès dating back to the Roman times, all their vineyards are organic, and some of them are biodynamic as well. Its seal of identity is to create natural wines preserving and respecting the environment and the identity of its special terroir, located in the border of Massís del Garraf Natural Park.
AND BONUS! Do you want to know what’s our choice for the most affordable best red Spanish wine?
Gotim Bru. This wine from Castell del Remei winery located inside Costers del Segre region, it’s one of the best quality/price Catalan red wine. A winery founded in 1780, it’s considered to be the first Catalan cellar to elaborate wines with crianza (aging). It was as well one of the pioneers in growing French vines. Gotim Bru has been internationally recognized, after the Parker’s Guide rated it with 92 points, what makes it probably the best Spanish wine of affordable price.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: What’s your favorite Spanish red wine?