Is there anything better than a reasonably-priced, good quality Spanish wine that tastes like it costs twice what you paid? Definitely not! Fortunately, for wine lovers, Spain continues to produce a wide variety of quality wines priced at $20 or less. Any of these wines would make fine additions to a holiday dinner or a family barbecue, as well as a gift for that wine-lover on your list.
The wines below are all available in the USA in stores or via the internet. The list is organized by Denomination of Origin (DO).
Campo de Borja DO
- Borsao Campo Borja 2005
From the Campo de Borja region, which was made a Denomination of Origin (DO) in 1980. This wine is a blend of 75% Garnacha (Grenache) and 25% Tempranillo. It has a medium ruby color with big fruit flavor. At about $8.00 it is a great value for drinking any day of the week!
- Juan Gil Red Wine 2006
Made by Bodegas Juan Gil, this 2006 vintage is made of 100% Monastrell grapes. (It was aged for 12 months in French and American oak. This wine also received very favorable reviews, including from the Wine Advocate. It is priced about $12 per bottle, it is worth every penny. It is perfect to serve with a fall dinner or tapas.
- Luzon 2007
Made by Bodegas Luzon, it is their 2007 vintage red wine. This wine is a blend (65% Monastrell and 35% Syrah) and a bargain, priced under $7. In fact, it was Wine Enthusiast's No. 1 top value wine of 2008 and they gave it 90 points! This is a "big-tasting" wine would compliment any beef, lamb or pork dish, especially roasts and stews.
La Rioja DO
- Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2004
From the Campo Viejo vineyard, in the Rioja region, it is 85% is Temparanillo, 10% Graciano and 5% is Mazuelo. It was aged for 18 months in casks of American and French oak. This selection underwent an additional 18 months of aging once it was bottled. The regular price is about $15 for this Rioja.
- Conde de Valdemar Rioja Crianza 2005
This wine is 90% tempranillo and 10% mazuelo and is a typical Crianza from Rioja. It's been aged for 16 months in a barrel. Priced about $14.
- Marques de Caceres Rioja 2003
This is another "big" wine, dense with berry flavors. About 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha, it is aged in oak barrels for 12 months and then 14 months in the bottle (13% Alcohol). At $11.00 a bottle, it's a great value.
- Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2003
Priced at $19.00 a bottle, it is at the top of the range, earning a score of 88 points from the Wine Enthusiast. It is made principally from Tempranillo vines, which are over 15 years old, has a deep cherry-red color and is intensely aromatic.
- Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2000
This powerful tempranillo wine from Rioja has an intense and very deep ruby color, with a taste of spice and vanilla. It is an ideal to accompany grilled red meat or stews, however can also enhance a fish dish such as tuna or cod. It is priced at $19 and may be difficult to find. Fortunately, the 2003 vintage is also good and much easier to find for about the same price.
Tierra de Castilla
In 1999, the Castilla-LaMancha government created the "Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla," a geographic indication that is between table wine, and a Denominacion de Origen. It is roughly the equivalent of the "vin de pays" in France.
- Tapena Garnacha 2008
This garnet colored wine from Castilla is made from garnacha (grenache) grapes, the most widely planted red wine grape in Spain. A budget wine priced around $9.00 a bottle, it is perfect to serve with Spanish tapas, such as ham, cheese and olives. It is a versatile wine, light enough to serve with fish, but works equally well with beef or lamb.
Utiel Requena DO
- Torre Oria Gran Reserve 1999 and Torre Oria Reserve 2001
Both of these tempranillos are big wines, leaving fruity flavors on the palate and are priced from $13-16 per bottle. Try it with meat, fish or appetizers.
If you are visiting the Valencia Community, the wineries in the Denomination of Origin (D.O.) of Utiel-Requena have formed an organization called Asociación Ruta del Vino de la D.O. Utiel-Requena, and have put together several “wine routes” in the area. Learn more about it in Wine Tasting in Utiel-Requena.
- Vega Sindoa Cabernet-Tempranillo 1999
This is a blend of cabernet and tempranillo grapes and can accompany any holiday meal or summer BBQs. It is priced at $14.00 per bottle.
- Ateca Garnacha Fuego Old Vine 2008
This grenache is made from old vines and has a fruity flavors of cherry and raspberry. It is priced at about $10.00 per bottle.
- Vina Alarba Old Vines Garnacha 2004 and 2007
The 2004 vintage may be difficult to find, but both of these vintages are highly rated and made from 100% grenache grapes. The grapes are from vines that are at least 50 years old. It has a fruity nose, with a slightly overripe and jammy taste. Good with chicken or grilled fish. The prices range from $10 to $12 per bottle.