A distinctive feature of Spanish wines is the fact that, besides their grape variety or place of origin, they are classified according to the amount of time they spent ageing in different kinds of containers.

As is well known, ageing in oak is the most widespread procedure. Nevertheless, over the last years there has been an increase in the use of alternative materials and recipients, such as concrete tanks, clay amphorae or acacia and chestnut wood barrels.

Today we are going to present a selection of red wines to illustrate the different typologies. As usual, we have prepared a selection of out of the box, unconventional wines that - at least that is our hope - will delight your pallate and challenge your intellect.

Let's begin with the category of Young red wines. Fresh and fruit-driven, they are usually not aged in oak, though an ageing period under 12 months is allowed by the current regulations.

From Valdeorras, Galicia, Joaquín Rebolledo Mencía 2017 is a delicious single varietal Mencía vinified in stainless steel tanks.

A wine that shatters clichés, Nita 2015 is a blend from Priorat which spent 8 months in concrete tanks. A vibrant and expressive red.

From beautiful Mallorca, Jaume de Puntiró Vermell 2016 is a seductive red wine made from native grapes and aged for 6 months in American oak.

Now let's have a look at the Crianza red wines, a type that shows a good balance between fruit and oak. To belong to this category, the wines must be aged for a minimum of 6 months in barrels, plus a further 18 months in the bottle.

From the mountains of Navarra, Lúculo Old Vines 2015 is a fragrant old-vines Grenache smoothed for 10 months in oak.

Stepping to Rioja, the mighty Predicador 2016 is a classic blend that spent 17 months in used French barrels.

Back to Priorat, the deep Gratavinum 2 Pi r 2014 has made quite an impression on our team. This organic wine was aged for 14 months in oak.

When we gather with friends, bringing wine in a Magnum bottle (1,5 litres) is always a wise decision. A single varietal Monastrell aged for 12 months, Juan Gil 12 Meses 2014 Mágnum is an astounding value from Jumilla.

Time for the Reservas. These are wines defined by the ageing notes, as they have spent at least 12 months in barrels, as well as a minimum of 24 months in the bottle before its release.

Intense, mineral and spicy, Triga 2014 is a blend of Monastrell & Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Jorge Ordóñez and aged for no less than 20 months in barrels.

One of the purest exemples of classic, elegant Rioja, Valenciso Reserva 2011 is a Tempranillo aged for 18 months that has been praised by critics as influential as Tim Atkin MW.

It would be hard to finish our selection with a more suitable wine than Pago de los Capellanes Reserva 2013. Impressive Tinta Fina aged for 18 months, it embodies the essence of Ribera del Duero.


Until our next post,

Enjoy wine - and let it breathe.