The Hottest Wines on the Planet Part 3

It will be hard to top my last wine post about those awesome 2007 Rhones, but when those sell out and all we have are the memories of those beauties. I will be the first, on my own, and recommending to others, the best place to gravitate towards are the High Quality, Great Value, Big Fruit and Well Balanced wines of Spain. What I want wine consumers to feel about Spain is what I felt a little over a year ago and that is, “Where have you been all my life?!?!” The rockstars of Spain? Garnacha, Tempranillo, and Monastrell to name a few, and we can’t forget about those vastly planted old old vines that produce highly concentrated low yields. The definition of delicious complex Fruit! Here are some of the shining stars in my set:










Borsao Garnacha – $7.99 (JO). This firm red offers ripe black cherry and boysenberry fruit, backed by notes of smoke, mineral and herb. The tannins are well-integrated, and floral and smoke notes linger. 89 Points – Wine Spectator

Altalaya Almansa – $14.99 (JO). The 2007 Atalaya is a blend of Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera, and other red grapes. The wine was aged for eight months in French and American oak. This purple-colored wine has an expressive bouquet of violets, spice box, leather, game, blueberry, and black cherry. On the palate it comes off as borderline kinky and definitely sexy with lots of easy-going flavor, superb depth, complexity, and a 45-second finish. Although it can be enjoyed now, it will evolve for another 2-3 years. 91 Points – Wine Advocate

Sabor Real Vinas Centenarias – $14.99. Comes from vines over 100 years of age. Purple-colored, it offers up a complex perfume of pain grille, violets, mineral, spice box, black cherry and blackberry. Bigger, richer, and more sweetly-fruited than its younger colleague, it would benefit from 2-3 years of additional cellaring. Balanced, lengthy, and altogether hedonistic, it should drink well through 2015. 91 Points – Wine Advocate

Juan Gil Jumilla – $15.99 (JO). Opaque purple. Blueberry, boysenberry and smoky Indian spices on the nose, with a sexy floral quality coming on with air. Juicy, sweet dark berry flavors are framed by velvety tannins and enlivened by zesty minerality. Gains depth and fleshiness with air, finishing on a strong boysenberry note, with excellent sappy persistence. This is delicious right now. 90 Points – Josh Raynolds (Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar)

Tres Picos Garnacha – $17.99 (JO). Opaque purple. Exotically perfumed bouquet of dark berry preserves, smoky minerals, potpourri and Indian spices, with a strong note of cracked pepper; smells like a high-end northern Rhone wine. Very spicy and tightly focused, offering juicy red and dark berry flavors and sexy notes of candied flowers and cocoa powder. Finishes with a wallop of sweet red berries and lingering, seductive spiciness; as ridiculous a value as one can find these days. 91 Points – Josh Raynolds (Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar)

Pesquera Ribera Del Duero – $36.99. The 2005 Tinto Pesquera Crianza is purple in color with an excellent bouquet of cedar, tobacco, spice box, and blackberry. On the palate it offers layers of ripe black fruits, mineral notes, outstanding depth, and a lengthy finish. It will evolve for several years and be at its best from 2012 to 2025. 92 Points – Wine Advocate

El Nido Clio Jumilla 2006 – $50 (JO). The purple/black 2006 Clio is composed of 70% old vine Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 26 months in new oak. It offers up a super-sexy nose of underbrush, incense, lavender, blueberry muffin, and black currant. Voluptuous and creamy on the palate, this loaded, well-balanced wine is a total turn-on. For those who prefer their flavor in moderation, look elsewhere. Drink this pleasure-bent effort from 2011 to 2021. 95 Points – Wine Advocate

San Roman Toro – $54.99. We would not have expected anything to match the stellar 2004 San Roman, but this newest vintage is up to the task. It`s opaque as midnight without a moon, and the nose is a delectable blend of vanilla, spice, hickory, mocha and meaty blackberry. The palate is both magnetic and sly; it pumps black fruit galore, but augments things with controlled chocolate and spice. Finishes a mile long, with cream, intensity and guile. This wine does not mess around. Best from 2010–2016. 95 Points – Wine Advocate

Lan Rioja Culmen – $62.99. This beautiful modern red offers a velvety texture supported by ripe, well-integrated tannins and plenty of sweet toasty oak. Plum and boysenberry fruit is ripe and fresh. Very expressive, yet with great concentration. Mineral and tobacco notes add complexity. Powerful and complete. Drink now through 2025. 750 cases made. 96 Points – Wine Spectator

The wines with (JO) refer to wines that are selections from Jorge Ordonez who catapulted the Spanish wine business. I had the amazing opportunity to meet this great man in October of 2009. I discovered him here: This changed my life and I was fortunate to view this very shortly after getting my job as a wine buyer and I realized I could build massive displays of inexpensive but good Spanish wines and have no worries about them selling. All I have to say is Thank You Mr. Ordonez.











Here are the flagship wines that have Jorge Ordonez stamps on that I am hustling every week to get on my shelf as they are highly highly allocated for only the best restaurant establishments. As you could see from above, I was able to get the 2006 Clio and here are the 2007’s.










El Nido El Nido Jumilla – about $125

El Nido Clio Jumilla $50-60

Atteca Armas Garnacha – $40-50

All this being said, I want to stress that most of the Spanish wines you will see in a retail setting are between $7-15 and they are all good and I will never say that about other country’s wines. So check them out!

Next up in Part 4: 2004 Brunello di Montalcinos  and 2006 Tuscans from Italy.


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