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Spain

Spain has been making wine for thousands of years but not until more recent times have the wines been exported. The Phylloxera blight that devastated the French vineyards and in particular those of Bordeaux sent the merchants scurrying across the border to Rioja in search of something to satisfy the needs of their clients. Rioja to this day remains the most popular fo Sanish wines in export markets.

Rioja is home to the Tempranillo grape where it grows to perfection. In the northern regions of the area - the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa - it produces some majestic wines that are now world class thanks to the development of winemaking techniques. Further south in the Rioja Baja which is hotter and with sandier soils, it is often necessary to blend in other international grape varieties such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon to give the wines more complexity. 

Navarra is producing some interesting offerings but a little jewel to watch out for in the north east is Somontano (Spain's Piemonte) where as well as Tempranillo, some aromatic grape varieties are faring well such as Gewürztraminer. 

In Catalunya, the Penedes region is making some incredible wines. This is the home of Cava, Spain's version of Champagne, but now some wonderful still wines are on offer which can offer exceptional value and make a change from drinking Chardonnay and Cabernet sauvignon. Priorat and Monsant also offer some incredible red wines but prices tend to be higher here.

Ribera del Duero which can have some really harsh winters is another great exponent of Tempranillo (the local name been Tinto Fino) The limestone soils suit it perfectly and the long, slow ripening periods give wines of great freshness. For white wines, Rueda is one of the most successful regions and Verdejo is the key to its success. It gives wines that are quite aromatic with floral and grassy notes not unlike Sauvignon Blanc.

Another great white grape variety that is very much invoke at present is Albarino and look no further than Rias Baixss if you're searching for something good. The Atlantic coastline gently cools the vineyards and the fresh and vibrant wines can have notes of apples and pears in both aroma and on the palate.

The largest region in terms of production is without doubt La Mancha where Don Quixote went tilting at windmills. A region that was once noted for producing huge amounts of undistinguished wine is now crafting some decent offerings at remarkably good prices. The watchword remains buyer beware so do try them before splashing out.

No article on Spanish wine would be complete without mentioning Sherry. Now back in fashion in a small way in the UK, Sherry can make a wonderful aperitif but in our opinion, do go for the dry, Fino style unless you're looking for a desert wine when the full-on and brooding Pedro Ximenez comes into its own.

  • Terra De Asorei Albariño
    £13.75

    Terra De Asorei Albariño

    Terra De Asorei

    This is a first class Albarino. A beautiful straw and lemon yellow coloured wine with herbal aromas of bay leaf, balsam and dill, Terra De Asorei A...

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    £13.75
  • Bodegas Pedro Escudero Valdelainos Verdejo
    £10.95

    Bodegas Pedro Escudero Valdelainos Verdejo

    Bodegas Pedro Escudero

    Bodegas Pedro Escudero Valdelainos Verdejo is so typical of the best Rueda whites, with fennel/anise and hay aromas enriched by subtle notes of tro...

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    £10.95
  • Vega Badenes Tempranillo/Merlot/Syrah
    £8.20

    Vega Badenes Tempranillo/Merlot/Syrah

    Vega Badenes

    This unique blend from Vega Badenes works extremely well and here they have produced a light red, full of red berry character that is an admirable ...

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    £8.20
  • Bodegas Señorío De Arana Viña Del Oja Rioja Crianza
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    Original price £11.50
    Current price £10.35

    Bodegas Señorío De Arana Viña Del Oja Rioja Crianza

    Bodegas Señorío De Arana

    Bodegas Senorio De Arana Vina Del Oja Rioja Crianza has a bright, ruby colour with a nose of ripe red fruits and hints of oak, touches of vanilla a...

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    Original price £11.50
    Current price £10.35
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  • Bodegas Señorío De Arana Viña Del Oja Rioja Reserva
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    Original price £14.95
    Current price £13.46

    Bodegas Señorío De Arana Viña Del Oja Rioja Reserva

    Bodegas Señorío De Arana

    Bodegas Senorio De Arana Vina Del Oja Rioja Reserva is a wine of bright cherry hue with complex aromas of berry fruit and vanilla oak. It is mouth-...

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    Original price £14.95
    Current price £13.46
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  • Teso La Monja Victorino 2010
    £35.95

    Teso La Monja Victorino 2010

    Teso La Monja

    Teso La Monja Victorino 2010 is a black cherry red with a purple rim. An aromatic and intense nose, with myriad notes of wild black fruits (blueber...

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    £35.95
  • Parés Baltà Cava Brut
    £13.95

    Parés Baltà Cava Brut

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Cava Brut is a deliciously dry, sparkling wine made in the Champagne method yet with plenty of bright, soft fruit flavours. It has a me...

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    £13.95
  • Bodegas Señorío De Arana Viña Del Oja Rioja Gran Reserva
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    Original price £21.10
    Current price £18.99

    Bodegas Señorío De Arana Viña Del Oja Rioja Gran Reserva

    Bodegas Señorío De Arana

    Bodegas Senorio De Arana Vina Del Oja Rioja Gran Reserva has a developed nose of dried red berries, a touch of vanilla, some gamey notes and a hint...

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    Original price £21.10
    Current price £18.99
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  • Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza
    £13.95

    Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza

    Sierra Cantabria

    Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza is a bright ruby-red colour with light but intense tones. Ripe berry fruit aromas, well balanced, with complex, spic...

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    £13.95
  • Teso La Monja Almiréz 2010
    £21.50

    Teso La Monja Almiréz 2016

    Teso La Monja

    "Teso La Monja Almirez 2016 has open, dark plum and red currant fruit and hints of cranberry leaf on the nose, the oak is nicely integrated and pla...

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    £21.50
  • Bodegas Pedro Escudero Fuente Milano Verdejo Viura
    £8.95

    Bodegas Pedro Escudero Fuente Milano Verdejo Viura

    Bodegas Pedro Escudero

    Bodegas Pedro Escudero Fuente Milano Verdejo Viura is a brilliant greenish-yellow colour, its elegant nose displays the classic, gently herbal note...

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    £8.95
  • Sierra Cantabria Rioja Selección
    £11.50

    Sierra Cantabria Rioja Selección

    Sierra Cantabria

    Sierra Cantabria Rioja Seleccion is ruby red with lighter violet shades at the edge of the glass. Raspberry and blackberry fruit on the nose, with ...

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    £11.50
  • Parés Baltà Blanc De Pacs
    £12.50

    Parés Baltà Blanc De Pacs

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Blanc De Pacs has ripe, white orchard fruits on the nose that are echoed on the palate, tempered by pithy, zesty lemon acidity and a ch...

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    £12.50
  • Dominio Romano Camino Romano Ribera Del Duero
    £16.75

    Dominio Romano Camino Romano Ribera Del Duero

    Dominio Romano

    Dominio Romano Camino Romano Ribera Del Duero is purple-red in colour and presents intense fruity aromas of red and black fruit confiture. On the p...

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    £16.75
  • Viñedos Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva Única 2010
    £20.55

    Viñedos Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva Única

    Viñedos Sierra Cantabria

    Vinedos Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva Unica is bright ruby in colour. Expressive aromas of redcurrant, cherry, liquorice, cinnamon and allspice. S...

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    £20.55
  • Parés Baltà Cava Pink
    £14.40

    Parés Baltà Cava Pink

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Cava Pink is smooth, refreshing and very graceful on the palate, packed with ripe, red berry fruit and balanced by a crisp, fresh acidi...

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    £14.40
  • Parés Baltà Honeymoon
    £12.95

    Parés Baltà Honeymoon

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Honeymoon has roses on the nose, honey on the palate! Yellow green colour with golden tints. Intense floral aromas of orange blossom on...

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    £12.95
  • Señorío De San Vicente Rioja San Vicente 2007
    £39.90

    Señorío De San Vicente Rioja San Vicente 2015

    Señorío De San Vicente

    Senorio De San Vicente Rioja San Vicente 2015 has a promising nose of wood smoke, spices, lavender and blackberry fruit. Dense, rich and concentrat...

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    £39.90
  • Sierra Cantabria Rioja Gran Reserva
    £25.90

    Sierra Cantabria Rioja Gran Reserva

    Sierra Cantabria

    "Aromas of sandalwood, Asian spices, incense, violets, mineral, and assorted black fruits lead to a masculine, burly wine with outstanding volume, ...

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    £25.90
  • Parés Baltà Mas Petit
    £12.50

    Parés Baltà Mas Petit

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Mas Petit displays a deep, dark garnet colour. The nose is full of spice and smoke, along with blackberry, black olive, dried herbs and...

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    £12.50
  • Domaines Lupier La Dama
    £31.75

    Domaines Lupier La Dama

    Domaines Lupier

    Elisa has said that the 2008 Domaines Lupier La Dama is made from over 30 different Garnacha base wines blended into one, full and rich cuvée. A br...

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    £31.75
  • Paco Molina Cava Brut
    £11.95

    Paco Molina Cava Brut

    Bodegas Cusiné

    Paco Molina Cava Brut is pale yellow in colour, it has medium intensity nose of white fruits - pear and apple - together with floral notes and a sl...

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    £11.95
  • Viñedos Sierra Cantabria Rioja Organza Blanca
    £20.55

    Viñedos Sierra Cantabria Rioja Organza Blanca

    Viñedos Sierra Cantabria

    Vinedos Sierra Cantabria Rioja Organza Blanca is a bright straw colour. Expressive aromas of fresh white fruits, white flowers, creamy notes and a ...

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    £20.55
  • Teso La Monja Victorino 2009
    £34.70

    Teso La Monja Victorino 2009

    Teso La Monja

    Teso La Monja Victorino 2009 is a plush, modern Toro red, seeing smokey, spicy notes mingle with cocoa, blackberry, tar and liquorice flavours, all...

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    £34.70