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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.

  • Parés Baltà Cava Brut
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    Original price £13.95
    Current price £11.86

    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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    Original price £13.95
    Current price £11.86
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  • Parés Baltà Blanc De Pacs
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    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63

    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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    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63
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  • 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
  • Parés Baltà Cava Pink
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    Original price £14.40
    Current price £12.24

    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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    Original price £14.40
    Current price £12.24
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  • Parés Baltà Honeymoon
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    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01

    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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    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01
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  • Parés Baltà Mas Petit
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    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63

    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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    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63
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  • Parés Baltà Ginesta
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    Original price £21.20
    Current price £18.02

    Parés Baltà Ginesta

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Ginesta has intense aromas of jasmine, rose and orange blossom, ripe lemon and lime citrus fruit and a suggestion of lychee on the nose...

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    Original price £21.20
    Current price £18.02
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  • Parés Baltà Ros De Pacs
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    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01

    Parés Baltà Ros De Pacs

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Ros De Pacs is delicate on the nose, with notes of cherry blossom and red fruits such as cranberry, raspberry and cherry. In the mouth ...

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    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01
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  • Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cusiné
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    Original price £25.90
    Current price £22.02

    Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cusiné

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Cava Blanca Cusine is bright golden-coloured, the nose is redolent of roasted almonds and hazelnuts with softer honey and prickly pear ...

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    Original price £25.90
    Current price £22.02
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  • Parés Baltà Amphora
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    Original price £26.35
    Current price £22.40

    Parés Baltà Amphora

    Parés Baltà

    Parés Baltà Amphora is a pearl coloured, clear wine that is crisp and transparent. It has a soft nose with hints of almonds and some rounded dairy ...

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    Original price £26.35
    Current price £22.40
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  • Parés Baltà Hisenda Miret
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    Original price £27.70
    Current price £23.55

    Parés Baltà Hisenda Miret

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Hisenda Miret is a vivid ruby red in colour. The nose is explosively intense and fresh, with complex floral notes, an oaky creaminess a...

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    Original price £27.70
    Current price £23.55
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