New Values From Spain Under $20
Spanish wine continues to represent excellent value across the board, especially if you know where too look. Here are a few great reds, new to Binny's, that have recently caught my attention:
The 2007 Salia from Finca Sandoval starts with an intriguing nose of dried orange peel and tea spice balanced with heavy blueberry and raspberry syrup. More balanced than I would have expected, this red blend shows notes of cedar and spice with tannins running through to the finish. The Salia is solid and refined, with focused fruit and dark roasted coffee on the finish. A great bottle made more impressive by the $15.99 price tag.
From Montsant, a region surrounding the more well-known region of Priorat, comes the 2008 Clos de Noi Samso. As we tasted the Samso, a friend of mine referred to it as "a baby Priorat," meaning that it nodded to Priorat's traditional intense and weighty fruit and smokiness without being overblown, and at a fraction of the price (at Binnys for $17.99). The nose shows black raspberry and tiny hints of smoke. It's a big wine on the palate, with fat, sweet red fruits balacing out with an herbal quality and good tannins. This is a well balanced, modern wine with plenty of grip.
From the more traditional Spanish wine region of Rioja comes the 2008 Osoti Rioja. This young red is a good example of the region's ability to merge old- and new-world personalities for interesting results. The nose shows old-world styled dusty, spicy characteristics along with a new-world plush, fat cherry fruit. This balance continues into the palate, with a metallic minerality and little but firm tannins keeping it tight. Also, the Osoti was made from organically grown grapes, so it has that going for it. It's a steal at $12.99.
A similar balance of the modern and rustic is the 2007 Old Hands Monastrell, this time from the region of Yecla, and another exceptional value at $10.99. This monastrell (known as mourvedre in the Rhone and elsewhere) includes about %15 syrah blended in. The nose shows tart cherry fruit with cola and herbal overtones. The cherry fruit is on the lighter side, making a lighter bodied and balanced red, great for affordable, casual drinking.