Imported by Beacon Wine Company, San Francisco, CA
Bob Heymann of Beacon Wine Company, Inc. in San Francisco has the knack of identifying incredible bargain wines from Spain. Most of the wines reviewed here are well under $20 and are good quality and distinctive wines from relatively small appellations.When we first tasted wines from Beacon in 2011, they were not well distributed in the U.S. market. However Bob Heymann has since expanded distribution to 20 states and plans to expand further in 2013. If you have the good fortune of finding these wines on the shelves of your local retailer, we recommend you try them for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Beacon Wine Company, Inc. www.beaconwinecompany.com
Bodegas Maior de Mendoza 2011 Argos Albariño Rias Baixas ($19) 89
This Argos Albariño has a lovely fragrance of lemon lime citrus with hints of minerals. Crisp and fresh tasting on the palate, it has a soft texture, bright acidity, and a lively finish.
Vinos Sanz 2011 Montesol Verdejo Rueda ($14) 88
This 100% Verdejo is fresh and crisp on the palate with light fruit flavors of lime citrus and grapefruit. It has a creamy mouth feel with nice tangy acidity on finish.
Bodegas Bleda 2010 Roblemar Tinto Jumilla ($12) 88
This blend of 50% Monastrell and 50% Tempranillo displays red berry fruit and toasted cedar on the nose. It has a soft texture on the palate with concentrated syrupy red fruit flavors, mature tannins and a pleasant easy drinking finish.
Bodegas Forcada 2009 Flor de Baco Crianza Rioja ($16) 87
This blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% Graciano offers very ripe dark berry fruit aromas with notes of spice. Aged for 14 months in French and American oak, it has a rustic mid-palate with firm tannins and lots of acidity on the finish. Organic.
Bodegas Ignacio Marin 2008 Campo Marin Crianza Carinena ($12) 87+
Dark ruby. This blend of 50% Tempranillo, 30% Garnacha and 20% Carinena exhibits ripe red plum aromas with notes of toasted oak. Aged for six months in American oak casks, it is soft on the attack and shows juicy fruit flavors with good balance and a pleasant finish.
Bodegas Piqueras 2009 Terra Grande Crianza Almanza ($12) 89+
This Terra Grande Crianza is a fresh tasting blend of 50% Monastrell, 30% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium ruby in color it offers spicy red berry fruit on the nose with a hint of oak. Aged for six months in American oak, it is soft and round on the palate with concentrated berry flavor, good balance and a long finish.
Bodegas Piqueras 2010 Terra Grande Monastrell Almansa ($12) 89
This 100% Monastrell is aged six months 300 liter French oak casks. It shows ripe red berry fruit with a hint of toast and vanilla. It is soft and round on the mid-palate with nicely concentrated fruit flavors through to the finish. Outstanding value.
Bodegas Piqueras 2008 Terra Grande Reserva Almansa ($15) 91
This Terra Grande Reserva is a stand out. A blend of 60% Monastrell, 20% Tempranillo, and 20% Garnacha Tintorera, it is medium ruby in color and offers dark berry plum fruit on the nose. Aged for 12 months in French and American oak, it has a soft texture, seamless integration of fruit and oak, ripe tannins and a spicy long finish. Outstanding value.
Encomienda de Cervera 2010 Vulcanus Vino de la Tierra de Castilla ($16) 88
Vulcanus is a 100% Tempranillo grown in the soil of a dormant volcano of the Campo de Calatrava. It displays an earthy red berry spicy nose with notes of vanilla. It is soft and round on the palate, lightly tannic on the mid-palate and easy drinking on the finish.
Bodegas Comenge, Finca Hontanillas 2011 Ribera del Duero ($14) 88
Finca Hontanillas is an earthy Tempranillo revealing aromas and flavors of red berries and dark plum with hints of forest floor. It is medium-weight, moderately tart on the mid-palate and tannic on the finish.
Iturbide 2011 Tinto Navarra ($10) 90
This Iturbide Tinto is an attractive estate-bottled blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Garnacha. It displays lovely aromas of dark plum and red berries. It is soft and round on the palate with good texture and balance. Very well done and a great value. Estate bottled.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler