Following my mini road trip, this month I have lined up 5 of the best wines from Valdepeñas. The small region of La Mancha, with an average altitude of 700 meters and extreme temperature differences, has finally found its way back to what it does best – warm, spicy Tempranillo. Production is now dominated by a triumvirate of top wineries, and such has been the resurgence in recent years that exports have reached 40%. Which is not surprising because these wines are all amazing value for money. Here are 5 to look out for…
1.) Pata Negra Gran Reserva 2009 – €4.5
From the biggest of the big three – Los Llanos winery. 18 months in oak, intense colour, with mature red fruit and a touch of spice. Would go very well with your Sunday roast beef.
2.) Los Molinos Gran Reserva 2011 – €5
Los Molinos is one of the main lines of Felix Solis – another of the big three in Valdepeñas. 2 years in American oak and 4 in the bottle have produced a wine with hints of tobacco, leather and Spice. A great wine for pairing with game and strong cheeses, or sipping next to a hearty fire on a cold winter day.
3.) Viña Albali Reserva 2012 – €4
Albali is the second main line of Felix Solis. This multi-award winning classic Reserva has spent one year in American oak and three in the bottle. Creamy oak, mature fruit with smokey notes abound.
4.) Vegaval Plata – Crianza – €3.5
From the small Miguel Calatayud winery comes this delicious Crianza – offering aromas of cherries, blackberries and a touch of vanilla. Goes well with pate and all types of meat.
5.) Señorio de los Llanos Crianza 2015 – €2.5
From the second line of Los Llanos, a crianza for only €2. It can’t be any good surely… think again! This has become one of Spain’s biggest selling wines for a reason. An everyday table wine that is well-balanced, light and easy to drink. If you serve it a couple of degrees colder than is normal for a red, then it makes a great summer wine for outdoor eating.
N.B Prices given are for Spain.