Spain, Castilla-La Mancha

Spain is definitely one of the new-world players to keep an eye on. It is the land of old-vines, american oak and sherry! The main varieties grown in Spain are Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) in the reds, and Airén, Viura/Macabeo, Verdejo and Albarino for the whites. Lesser grown whites include Palomino. Other reds successfully cultivated include Carignan, Mourvedre and Mencia.

Although Spain can be quite a warm country, the vast majority of vineyards are 600m or so above sea level, so the cooler nights allow the grapes to develop full colour and acidity.

Rioja is undoubtedly the long-standing king of all the Spanish wine regions, where Tempranillo and Garnacha are commonly blended. However more recently many more regions have come to the forefront of interest. Ribera Del Duero is producing excellent Tempranillo blends rivalling those coming out of Rioja. Jerez in the South is the home of the fortified wine Sherry.

Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. These include:
  • - Denominación de Origen Calificada (formerly called DOCa) Priorat calls itself DOQ for Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in Catalan and has a track record of consistent quality and is meant to be a step above DO level.
  • - Denominación de Origen (DO)- Used for mainstream-quality wine regions. Nearly two thirds of the total vineyard area in Spain is within the boundaries of a DO region.
  • - Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD) - This is somewhat of a stepping stone to DO status.
  • - Vinos de la Tierra (VdIT) - A level similar to France's vin de pays system, where the regions are much larger.
  • - Vino de Mesa (VdM)- The equivalent of 'table wines' from France or Italy

Castilla-La Mancha is a large wine region which lies south and east of the Spanish capital Madrid. Home to the world-heritage listed town of Toledo, the continental climate is hot and dry in summer and dips below freezing in winter, meaning that only grapes suited to harsh conditions do well here. Airen tops the list as the most commonly planted grape in Castilla-La Mancha, however a number of producers have expanded with plantings of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Alicante Bouschet (known as Garnacha Tintorera), Monastrell, Syrah and Bobal. Most of these grapes are used for the production of red blends suited to barrel maturation, although varietal wines are increasingly being produced in Castilla-La Mancha.
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  1. MARQUES DE TEZONA TEMPRANILLO 2018
    An impressively complete and versatile wine suitable for immediate appreciation. Rich, yet elegant with beautiful flavours, softness and very approachable - this is great quality for the price! The nose shows ripe redcurrants, wild strawberries, dried herbs and some savoury ... Learn More
  2. MARQUES DE TEZONA TEMPRANILLO 2017
    An impressively complete and versatile wine suitable for immediate appreciation. Rich, yet elegant with beautiful flavours, softness and very approachable - this is great quality for the price! The nose shows ripe redcurrants, wild strawberries, dried herbs and some savoury ... Learn More
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  3. Altacena Tempranillo 2018
    A great value tempranillo with an inviting nose of ripe dark berries and plums with hints of smoked spice. An elegant, medium bodied palate with lots of ripe red berried fruit and smoky spice. All supported by fine graphite tannins. ... Learn More
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