Here in Ireland we have for a very long time been lovers of Spanish red wines and this is borne out by the numbers, we are Spain’s 20th largest market, and which is an absolutely huge figure given our small population.
Of course a great deal of this can be attributed to the popularity of the wines of Rioja, but to say the story stops there would be ignoring the renaissance that has taken place in Spanish winemaking over the past two decades.
I have highlighted below just a few of the exciting modern wines we now import from some of the best new-wave wineries in Spain.
Cruz de Piedra (€9.99 down from €13.99) is a fruity, cherry-flavoured Garnacha from an ancient vineyard planted high in the mountains of northern Spain. This wine is cool-fermented and doesn't see any oak in order to preserve the grape’s lip-smacking fruit character.
Orellan Roble (€10.99 down from €16.49) is from the Northwest region of Beirzo, which is becoming a sort of Spanish right bank; this little hilly region is producing incredibly elegant wines from the local Mencia grape. This medium bodied red has a lush, silkiness and fresh acidity not dissimilar to good Pomerol.
Up until the 1980s Navarra, a producer of reds, whites and rosés, was best known for its traditional rosé wines. Today some of Spain's finest reds are produced here such asArs Nova(€12.99 down from €17.49), from a small 'quality obsessed' producer, this sensational, savoury, complex wine is one of the finest reds we have ever seen from Navarra. It is multi-layered with deep, dark-berry and damson fruit, well-structured and long-lasting flavours - a class act.
Altos de Luzon (€14.99 down from €18.99) is from Jumilla in Southeast Spain where the climate is continental verging on to arid, moderated by the proximity of the Mediterranean. This stunning vintage gives a serious fine wine experience at a price far below Spain's more famous regions. Rich, ripe and beautifully defined, Luzon seem to beable to create wines that perform at a level way above their price bracket!