All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context—vintage, variety or appellation—but never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.
*Products deemed unacceptable (receving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.
The Pinnacle of quality
A great achievement
Often good value; well recommended
Suitable for everyday consumption, often good value
Can be employed
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Discover New Regions for Spanish Red
Due to the diverse range of microclimates, soils and maturation techniques, there are vast stylistic differences among the wines of Northern Spain. The wines of Spain’s leading red wine region, Rioja DOCa, are constructed predominantly from Tempranillo with smaller percentages of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano to fill out the blend. Classical Rioja yields muted red fruit flavors with accents of vanilla and dried dill due to the time spent in American oak. Southwest of Rioja in the Castilla y León autonomía lies the Ribera del Duero DO, a region characterized by its continental climate and vast diurnal swings. Producing wines that are darker and often more intense than Rioja, Ribera del Duero’s blends must contain a minimum 75% of Tinto Fino (the local clone of Tempranillo) with Garnacha and often a touch of international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot…
Galicia is the province occupying the northwest corner of Spain, and for the most part white wines reign throughout Galicia. Major denominated Galician regions include Rías Baixas, which is known for the increasingly popular Albariño grape and eponymous varietal wine; Ribeiro, which features blended whites incorporating grapes like Torrontés, Treixadura, Loureira and Albariño; and Valdeorras, where the Godello grape is most prominent. Galician whites are almost always fresh in style, generally made without oak aging, and are natural accompaniments to seafood and shellfish.