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Wine time: Taste a Trio of 2013's Finest Affordable Spanish Wines

Wine time: Taste a Trio of 2013's Finest Affordable Spanish Wines

The 2011 Teso La Monja Almirez, the 2010 Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica and the 2011 Nisia were among Bill Carlson's favorite Spansih wines in 2013. / Bill Carlson/News Journal correspondent


Written by

Bill Carlson


Seville Quarter

December 31, 2013

Wines from Spain continued to gain popularity here in the States in 2013, with imports increasing almost 10 percent. They dominate in producing high-quality wines in the very competitive under $15 category, the bread and butter of the wine industry.

Just 20 years ago, Spanish wines in the States were mainly sherries, a few high-end Riojas and some tough, leathery tasting reds that were tough to pick out a grape they were made from.

Today, Spain has more acres under plant with vineyards than any other country in the world and the wines are made using modern winemaking practices. Americans are becoming increasingly familiar with their grape varietals grown. Albariño, Garnacha, Monastrell, Tempranillo and Verdeho are routinely being sought out on wine lists and in retail shops.

Some of the best wines I tasted in 2013 were Spanish. The following three wines I tasted merit attention and are tremendous values.

Nisia is a new project from legendary Spanish importer Jorge Ordonez. Hailing from the ancient wine region of Rueda and made from Verdejo, this is truly unique white wine. This old vine wine is intense, with a creamy texture and notes of tangerine, melons and white flowers. The 2011 Nisia ($14.49) has vibrant acidity and would be an ideal companion with crab cakes or scallops.

The 2010 Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica ($10.49) is a custom Cuvee made from importer Eric Solomon and is dynamite. A blend of 85 percent Garnacha and

15 percent Syrah from the region Monstant, this is a very complex wine with hints of violets and roses, blackberries and excellent richness. According to Wine Critic Robert Parker, it’s complex enough to pass for a Grand Cru Burgundy. Impressive!

Lastly, the 2011 Teso La Monja Almirez from the ruggedly beautiful region of Toro is dark, brooding and decadent! Made from Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo), dark in color with enticing smokiness to it and tons of dark fruit. To me, it tastes like a top Chateauneuf du Pape costing four times as much. $21.99 is a steal for what this wine delvers. Get this stunner while you can!

Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. 434-6211, or visit