5 Affordable Spanish Wines You Need To Try

Posted on: March 16th, 2016 by admin No Comments

barrel of wine with grape cones

In the early days of package tours, Spanish wine was eagerly seized upon (literally!) as cheap booze, but of sometimes questionable quality. Its reputation has improved greatly since then, with regions being developed and old varieties of grape renewed all the time. The industry has been able to move considerably up-market, but it’s still possible to find plenty of choice available at a very modest price. Young wines are the cheapest but the more mature types are affordable too, with reds generally more favoured.

Tempranillo

Young varieties of this fruity wine, such as Rioja Crianza, are aged for less than a year. They are spicier than more mature versions and the ones produced in the central region are ideal for use in Sangria. Tempranillo that has been aged for a few years in oak and bottle is richer, and boasts a high tannin content.

Garnacha

Known as Grenache in France, this is actually a Spanish grape. A product of northern Spain, its fresh smooth taste makes it another suitable ingredient for Sangria, while fine Garnacha carries more complex flavours. Hillsides around Madrid still support old vines, but the variety is also blended with Syrah, Merlot, Cariñena and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Monastrell

The French wine Mourvèdre also has its past in Spain, where it’s called Monastrell, but the same grape exists in Australia and California as Mataro. Originating in the centre of the country and now its fourth most planted vine, it’s bold and intense with notes of blackberry and chocolate, smoky undertones and plenty of tannin.

Bobal

Another offering from central Spain, Bobal retains hints of herbs and violets, while its dark fruit flavours and high tannins are perfectly matched by a colour that is a deep shade of purple. The grape is native to the Utiel-Requena region of Valencia, where it constitutes 90% of all vines, and is the third most cultivated nationally. Its high acidity level increases its versatility, and it has been used for sparkling wine and for adding colour to rosé.

Mencía

Choose the floral aromas of Mencía for something lighter, not unlike a Burgundy or Beaujolais. Mostly grown in the north west of the country, with some areas blending it with local grapes like Bastardo, it’s very similar to a variety found in Portugal. Younger bottlings are lively and refreshing, while those matured in oak possess more gravitas. Like all the wines mentioned here, it’s easy to buy in the UK.

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