With the arrival of the 2020 Aalto, a wine rapidly becoming known as “the Sassicaia of Spain” (and not only because it is consumed by a healthy proportion of the Spanish football team), we thought it a suitable moment to highlight some of our listings from this diverse and fascinating wine-producing nation.
The wines are listed below in vintage order, from oldest to newest. There are plenty which are ready for drinking now and plenty which can be kept for a few years yet. As ever, if you would like any guidance or advice, please do get in touch.
2002 Unico, Vega Sicilia
£792 per 3 in bond
"Evolved garnet colour. Heady, sweet, liquorice nose. Perhaps the first of these wines that seems resolved on the nose. Really rich and rewarding with nuance and a beginning, middle and end. Light but not disagreeable dustiness on the end. Very comfortable and confident. Relaxed! Perhaps not one of the flashiest vintages but giving huge pleasure." Jancis Robinson
2009 Viña Tondonia Reserva, Lopez de Heredia
£147 in bond per 6
“Bone dry and extremely savoury – definitely needs food! Grainy finish. But lots of classic interest.” Jancis Robinson
2016 Martelo Reserva, Torre de Oña
£135 in bond per 6
“Aromas of ripe dark fruit, walnuts, currant bush and bark. Medium to full-bodied with creamy tannins and bright acidity. Polished and silky with mellow fruit character and a fresh, floral touch to it.” James Suckling
2016 San Roman, Toro, Bodega Maurodos
£156 in bond per 6
“Stains the palate without showing any excess fat. Finishes sweet, creamy and extremely long, with polished tannins, a repeating blue fruit note and atouch of dark chocolate.” Josh Raynolds
2018 Mencia Unculin, José Antonio García
£12.75 inc VAT a bottle
“The palate is cool, has something natural and slightly reduced about it. The fruit is dense and fresh, has tang and then the tannins scrub the palate clean.” My note.
2018 Pintia, Vega Sicilia
£252 in bond per 6
“The nose is very expressive, with bright cherry fruit, and the wine is fresher than the norm in the region, with integrated alcohol and oak, reflecting a very cool year, floral and perfumed. The palate is medium-bodied and reveals very fine and elegant tannins. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Pintia.” Luis Gutierrez
2018 Viña Magna Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Dominio Basconcillos
£25 inc VAT a bottle
“The definitive argument against those that despise crianza wines. Classic but very precisely defined, with enticing fruit and a subtle oak influence, the wine develops in palate with amazing balance, and understated fresh finish. Expressive and consistent, delicious.” Decanter Magazine.
2018 Garmon, Ribera del Duero, Bodega Garmon Continental
£186 in bond per 6
“Chalky balanced and effortlessly refined, with notes of red berries, fennel and spice, subtle oak and thrilling freshness A truly great Ribera. 98/100." Tim Atkin MW
2019 Garmon, Ribera del Duero, Bodega Garmon Continental
£186 in bond per 6
“The profile of the 2019 Garmón is quite classical Ribera del Duero, with good ripeness, Tempranillo typicity and generous oak, delivering wines of high regularity and a recognizable profile for the public. It has smoky notes of bacon and spices, black fruit, good ripeness, 14.5% alcohol and a juicy and creamy mouthfeel with ripe tannins and an oaky finish.” Luis Gutierrez
2019 Alion, Vega Sicilia
£330 in bond per 6
“Purple depths. More sophisticated, complex nose than Pintia 2018 just tasted. But sweet, black-fruited palate and some dryness on the end.” Jancis Robinson
£168 in bond per 6
No pro reviews on this, as it was released during lockdown(s). Do check cellartracker.com for consumer reviews.
£180 in bond per 6
“A dark, well contained nose of pure plum fruits with a hint of cassis, overlaid with a cocoa powder oak. In the mouth, the instant impression is one of creaminess, of a wine both dense and rich. It is also dark, and smoky with its wood. The mineral structure emerges at the back where the fruit imparts a flavour of chestnuts. This grips very long and minerally. A beautifully fresh example. Delicious!” My note
2020 El Seque Tinto, Artadi
£141 in bond per 6
“The just-bottled 2020 El Sequé shows harmonious, subtle and elegant, clean and precise, with superb balance and freshness… Even if young and very recently bottled, the wine feels harmonious and long. It should develop nicely in bottle." Luis Gutierrez
2021 Rioja Labastida, Jose Gil
£31.48 inc VAT a bottle (available in bond)
“…this has chalky freshness and intensity, sappy bramble and black cherry fruit and layered tannins. 93/100." Tim Atkin MW
2021 Rioja San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Jose Gil
£31.48 inc V AT a bottle (available in bond)
“You can sense Jose's time in Burgundy in the elegance of this dark-fruited, berry-ish beauty. It's precise and extremely charming; complex already, it will only gain more nuance with bottle age.” My note.