Try to name a Spanish wine region other than Rioja. Can you? That’s what we thought. Here are three bottles from the country’s less famous but just as deserving locales.
Pazo Pondal Leira Albariño 2011, $15.95
Located in cooler Galicia in Spain’s northwest, Rías Baxias is famous for whites made from Albariño grapes. Serve with spicy garlic shrimp.
Ponce notes: “A bouquet of fall orchard fruits and white peach tempts the nose. On the palate, it has the steely minerality and tangy acidity of a good Riesling, but a creamier texture, with a long, orangey finish.”
Tilenus Envejecido en Roble 2007, $17.95
Bierzo, in the northwest province of Léon, is known for Mencia-based reds. Pair this excellent example with braised lamb shanks.
Ponce notes: “With a seductively floral nose, layers of dark fruit flavours, and zesty acidity, this wine is more polished that Samuel L. Jackson’s dome. Buy one bottle to enjoy now, and another to savour at the end of the decade.”
Alejandro Fernández Tinto Pesquera Crianza 2009, $26.95
North of Madrid, Ribera del Duero is Spain’s second most famous wine region, yielding powerful reds. Open with aged Manchego cheese.
Ponce notes: “This iconic Spanish wine is highly concentrated and shows rich coconut notes, not to mention oodles of black Twizzlers. Wait five years for this hombre to really strut his stuff.”