On Wine

With massive re-equipping made possible by European Union membership grants, Spanish wineries are cranking out stellar modern red wines that also preserve the best of past traditions-paralleling the revolution in Spanish cuisine. A few of the delicious values I’ve uncorked recently: From the Navarra region, Bodegas Nekeas’ 2003 Vega Sindoa Tempranillo-Merlot blend ($6) is a silky, berry-scented beauty while the 2003 Vega Sindoa Cabernet-Tempranillo blend ($9) offers more tannin and currant notes. Both are made by the highly acclaimed female vintner Concha Vecino. The 2003 Capçanes Montsant Mas Donís Barrica ($12) is a concentrated, fragrant blend of grenache and syrah aged in American and French oak. Another instant favorite, the 2004 Panarroz Jumilla ($8) blends mourvèdre, grenache, and syrah to offer chocolate-coated berry flavors. And as terrific as all these bargain wines are, none can match the deep intensity of the 2003 Más Que Vinos Ercavio Tempranillo from La Mancha ($9).
–D.R.W.

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