Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top 9 Spanish Wines

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 De Restia Crianza Selected Harvest (2006)
Comments: This is dark and concentrated on the nose with roasted herbal notes and concentrated beefy aromas over a bed of leathery, slightly peppery dark fruit. Powerful on entry, this is packed with tannins and dark fruit, flecked with spicy herb notes and gently streaked with vanilla. This really saturates the palate with intense flavors of bitter cherry, leathery fruit, dried herbs, toasty oak, and lightly peppery spice. Not a wine to drink on its own, this requires food at this point, particularly on the aggressively tannic and concentrated finish that shows a hint of heat. Take no prisoners kind of wine, well done and with good aging potential. 91pts
Previously available for $19.99
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2 Bodegas Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero (2008)
Comments: Very fresh and lively on the nose with immediate notes of blueberry pie, violet pastille, light sage and eucalyptus. This smells rather sophisticated with a gentle perfume-like note of vetiver, vanilla flowers and toasty spices. On entry, this shows flashes of gamy, campfire flavors that are quickly subsumed by clear, earthy wild raspberry fruit flavors and nuanced notes of dried herbs, a hint of green anise seed and dry, toasty oak notes. The tannins here are superbly managed and firm yet discreet. Acidity lends a juicy edge to the increasing, distinct wild berry fruit. The finish is fairly long with a nice herbal seed note punctuating the slightly candied boysenberry fruit. There's a lot of fruit here but it's not as fruity as it sounds, with lovely grace notes of leather and earth grounding the palate. Rather sophisticated on the palate as well. 91pts
Average price: $40.19 from 3 stores
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3 Veleta Nolados Vino de la Tierra Contraviesa Alpujarra (2008)
Comments: A little chocolatey on the nose and slightly spicy with a bit of heat rising above the dark fruit, which shows a bit of a eucalyptus edge. This enters the mouth with dark currant and berry fruit and a sense of power. The wine is a bit on the tight side and while fairly tannic, there is plenty of dry extract and depth here to help to mask those tannins. Faint suggestions of charred chili and green herb emerge on the palate along with a light hint of black raspberry framed by vanilla and a light toasty top note. The finish shows a minty hint to the vegetal notes and firm dark fruit that ends with fine-grained but significant tannins. This needs a year or two to really hit its stride, but it has the depth and balance to get there and really blossom into a lovely wine. 90pts
Previously available for $15.00
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4 Bodegas Iranzo Vertvs Tempranillo Crianza Utiel-Requena D.O (2006)
Comments: With wisps of smoke, tobacco, oily herbs and rocks on the nose, this smells intriguing with late arriving floral notes and just a hint of raspberry and nutty oak. This has a very fine texture in the mouth. Soft tannins, integrated acidity and a lovely transparent texture let this slide across the palate, delivering light washes of raspberry and rocks along the way. The fruit tannins build in the mouth, clipping the finish a bit, but there is a lovely if subtle persistence to the sweet, herb-scented raspberry fruit on the finish. This is understated and elegant. 88pts
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5 Valdubón Tempranillo Ribera del Duero Cosecha (2009)
Comments: Another nicely spicy wine but one in which there are layers of nutty oak and lightly smoky red fruit between the spicy floral notes that recall hibiscus. Soft yet rich on entry, this offers up an attractive blend of power and clarity with flavors that bring together notes of wild strawberry, blueberry, herbs and earth. I really like this style of balance and good depth of flavor without a lot of weight on the tongue. The finish shows some brisk tannins and echos of blueberry fruit with a hint of creamy strawberry, as well. This has a touch of a sticky feel on the finish, though the tannins manage to balance that out nicely, creating good tension. 88pts
Average price: $14.86 from 2 stores
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6 Bodega Dominio Buenavista Tempranillo Vino de la Tierra Contraviesa Alpujarra Veleta (2008)
Comments: Sweet, dark red fruit greets the nose with notes of licorice, dried herbs and sandy soil tones. This is fairly rich in the mouth with lots of dark cherry fruit paired with assertive yet integrated oak spice notes and a touch of early vanilla. There's a nice herbal note adding detail across the palate and fruit that gains a raspberry element along with leather and soil tones on the back end. This is a rich and fairly powerful wine with some wood tannins and succulent acidity that are well balanced by the rich fruit, which lingers on the moderately long, licorice- and tar-inflected finish that does show a touch of heat. 88pts
Previously available for $13.00
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7 Bodegas la Aldea Garnacha la Gardea Carinena (2010)
Comments: This offers up plenty of sweet, dark berry and jammy raspberry fruit on the nose, along with a light balsamic note and some sweet, cranberry-accented spice notes. Round and fruity on entry, this delivers rich, slightly sweet berry fruit on the palate with a hint of a savory, woodsy tone and some gently spicy, almost peppery notes on the mid-palate. The acidity is refreshing, though this remains a touch thick with the fruit on the palate and the tannins, which, though covered, are a bit dry. The finish is pretty rich and powerful with light herb top notes over fairly pure candied cherry fruit. A lot of wine for the money. 87pts
Previously available for $10.00
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8 Dominio de Eguren Codice Tinto Vino de la Tierra de Castilla (2009)
Comments: Tobacco, earth, old wood, candied ginger and cinnamon spice notes greet the nose over gently roasted dark currant fruit. This is fairly fruity but also subtly complex on the nose. Smooth and supple on entry, this crawls across the palate showing lovely bitter cherry fruit with dusty, spiky tannins that make it fun to drink. The flavor profile leans towards the spicy end of the spectrum with lots of cinnamon and dried spice notes along with a hint of toasty oak spice. The finish reveals the dry tannins a bit more, but they are nothing a nice steak couldn't cure. 86pts
Average price: $7.99 from 2 stores
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9 Gran Vinaio Grenache Garnacha Montsant (2007)
Comments: Candied red apple and low wildflower notes jump on the nose with a light caramel top note. A little loose on entry, this is wide open on the palate with lightly peppery and gently floral/herb-framed flavors of wild strawberry and raspberry. It's a fun wine with modest tannins and enough acidity to keep things lively right through the brief finish, which shows off nice fruit but does dry out a bit. This is a gulpable wine, perfect for a picnic or BBQ. 86pts
Previously available for $12.99
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