Hit me with Spanish Red values

While there are many Riojas which show too much oak IMO, particularly when young, I don’t know that a heavy dose of French oak is the answer either. I often find RdD to be too oaky as well. Most of my Spanish red consumption is LdH, primarily Cubillo and Bosconia, followed by LRA Ardanza and Alberdi. While LRA can show a lot of oak, I rarely get much wood character from LdH, though I recall a 2010 Cubillo a couple of years back which showed a ton of dill from American oak. It was surprising since they apparently use mostly huge old wood, replaced only as needed.

Another area to consider for Spanish values and for less-oaked versions is Vinos de Madrid, for wines like Comando G and Bernebeleva. I find what is being done there interesting, and less reliant on oak, but the alcohols can be high for my taste.

Definitely agree. In general, they should all dial back on the oak, and some already have, especially in the higher-end offerings. Though the whole notion that Gran Reserva is better because it spends more time in oak should be thrown out the window in both regions (just like in Chianti).

The good thing about RdD is that it has a category that allows for no oak, which IIRC Rioja doesn’t. Or if Rioja now does, RdD led the way. That allows them leeway to experiment without losing the DOC classification.

I think Comando G is relatively expensive. Not a QPR play. There was a Garnacha I wanted to try from Rioja that we discussed in the posts below, but I have yet to do so.

Expensive is relative of course. The regular Bruja de Rozas can be found around $25-30. Bernabeleva makes some less expensive wines. The higher level wines of both can get rather expensive. Whether any of these offer value is subjective.

1 Like

Aalto is not drinkable for me anymore.

Trying to figure out this new interface but will eventually. I would love 5 Ribera’s under $30 I can get in the states that compete with Rioja.

With that constraint, I’d start with the basic Emilio Moro.

I’m sure @Joseph_Grassa will probably recommend Hermanos Pérez Pascuas El Pedrosal Reserva, or maybe the basic El Pedrosal or the Viña Pedrosa Crianza. He’s the expert on Pérez Pascuas.

1 Like

I will give you Emillio Moro but still think no one is even close to the price points of La Rioja Alta.


@Guillermo_M Very much so. I would say 2009 Hermanos Perez Pascuas El Pedrosal Reserva does not meet an equal in Rioja until Tondonia. It just needs tons of air unless you are a fan of the rustic/ savory side of tempranillo. It is very much a day 3 wine.

Pingus PSI is another one I would recommend under 30

Torremoron - only about $15
Bodegas Castillejo de Robledo Altos de Valdoso Reserva

I think these are all available. I am not sure you can go wrong with RdD under $30, but the problem is so little is available and some of what is, is not consistently. WTSO tends to be a good place to get RdD.

1 Like

Valderiz is very consistent and usually available for <$30.


More and more Rioja producers are not releasing under the crianza/reserva gradations, and some are even leaving the DO system altogether, thus losing the right to market under the ‘Rioja’ flag.

I think Artadi, Tolono, and some others are going this way. I suppose it works for brand with strong consumer recognition, and who believe the system holds them back from making the best wine. Sort of like the Super Tuscan / IGT movement in the 70s & 80s.


on WTSO “last Chance wines” now there are 3 RdD wines for $23 or less. a 2009, 2012 and a 2019. Unfortunately, I dont know any of the producers, but if you are looking to try some RdD, I would think it is not a bad idea to grab some of each.

1 Like

10 years ago would be a buyer on WTSO for Rioja wines but most what they have now is average at best.

1 Like

Totally agree John. Still like WTSO, but it was phenomenal for Spanish red QPR 10 years ago.

1 Like

I opened a 2010 Hacienda Monasterio [Ribera del Duero] to go with a paella I prepared last night. I had mentioned it upthread, but had not realized how much it’s price has gone up, so I would not consider it a ‘value’ any more, as current releases run $50-$60. But for those who like lush, plush modern wines that are still balanced, this is a worthy weekend wine meriting the good stems. I get incense, sandalwood on the nose and then sweet black/plum fruit on the palate. Lots of depth of flavor on day one with smooth tannin, and low acid. It’s a big wine at 15% abv but avoids heat and pruney notes. On the second day, the sweetness burrs off and evolves into more baking cocoa flavor.

The last bottle I had of this - about 1000 days ago - was not as harmonious as this example, but that could also be a function of a better consumption situation (stemware, travelshock, temperature etc.). On my scorecard I’d slot this into the A- zone, higher than before. I feel like this would be a good case to insert into a blind panel for tasters who are certain that they hate anything that is 15+% abv, and see if it can be identified. (This is well crafted and I don’t think it would be obvious, but of course I would not go operate heavy machinery after an Olive Garden pour of this)

PS: paella turned out mediocre but my hungry family gobbled it up strangely. I am slowly working my way through a regional paella cookbook, and many of the concepts/ingredients are just strange or impossible to fathom.

1 Like