Spanish “Value” Wines: New Releases from Beacon Wine Company

Bob-Heyman-e1361965463965Bob Heymann of Beacon Wine Company, Inc. in San Francisco has been importing and distributing Spanish wines for 30 years.  During his career he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to identify excellent Spanish wines at highly affordable prices—well under $20 a bottle in most cases. Since we started reviewing Bob’s wines in 2011, his selections have not disappointed us.  He has a great nose and sensitive palate which he puts to good use in finding bargains from Spain.

Most of the wines reviewed here are of 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, since then Bob Heymann has worked hard to expand distribution.  If you have the good fortune of finding these wines on the shelves of your local retailer, we recommend you try them. You won’t be disappointed.  In the future Bob will act solely as a national marketing agent, enabling other importers and distributors to promote his brands.

Beacon Wine Company, Inc.                                                                                                                  e-mail:  cell: 415-707-9140                


Bodegas Maior de Mendoza 2013 Argos Albariño Rias Baixas ($16) 89  The Argos Albariño offers fragrant citrus and tropical fruit aromas with hints of minerals. Crisp and fresh tasting on the palate, it has a soft creamy texture, excellent acidity and a lively finish.   Vinos Sanz Montesol 2013 Rueda ($10) 89  The Rueda is a blend of 65% Verdejo and 35% Viura. It has a light golden color and is crisp and fresh  with lovely ripe citrus and orchard fruit aromas and flavors.  A good alternative to Sauvignon Blanc, it displays a ripe creamy palate and rich fruit finish. Vinos Sanz Montesol 2013 Verdejo  ($13)  89  The 100%  Verdejo offers  fragrant aromas on the nose with herbs, orchard fruit and nuts.  It has a creamy mouth feel with good flavor intensity, medium weight and a long finish


Bodegas Bleda 2013 Roblemar Tinto Jumilla ($10) 88  This blend of 50% Monastrell and 50% Tempranillo offers perfumy  red berry fruit and toasted cedar on the nose. It has soft texture on the palate with concentrated ripe red fruit flavors, firm tannins and a medium finish. Bodegas Forcada 2013 Flor de Baco Joven Rioja ($10) 87+  This joven is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha.  It is young, aromatic and fruit-forward with fresh red berry fruit flavors, a soft texture, and a firm tannic grip on the finish. Bodegas Forcada 2009 Flor de Baco Crianza Rioja ($15) 88+ (re-tasted) This blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% Graciano offers fresh and very ripe black cherry  fruit aromas with notes of spice. Aged for 14 months in French and American oak, it has a soft round texture on the mid-palate with lovely  flavors,  round tannins and a pleasant finish.  This wine has been evolving nicely since we last tasted it in 2013. Bodegas Señorio de Arana  2011 Sommelier  Crianza Rioja ($18) 89+  This is a lovely Rioja made in the traditional style.  It offers ripe dark Tempranillo fruit with prominent sweet oak aromas and a hint of violets.  Aged 14 months in new American and French oak, it has a lovely texture with firm round tannins and a persistent finish.  This wine can be enjoyed over the next three to five years. Bodegas Señorio de Arana  2007 Sommelier  Reserva Rioja ($24) 90  The Reserva is a blend 90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano.   Aged 18 months in new American and French barrels, it is also traditional in style with dark fruit and oak flavors like the Crianza, but has a more elegant texture and  firm  round tannins on the finish. Bodegas Comenge Finca Hontanillas 2013 Roble Ribera del Duero ($12) 88 Finca Hontanillas is young oaky and earthy Tempranillo revealing aromas and flavors of  dark plum with hints of mushrooms and forest floor.  It is medium-weight, moderately tannic on the mid-palate and dry on the finish.  This will provide pleasant drinking over the next 3 to 5 years. Vino de Vida 2012 Garnacha, Merla Vyd Vino de la Tierra del Bajo Aragon ($10)  87+ This 100% organic Garnacha is crafted by the Yago Aznar family in Bajo Aragon, a desert-like region in northeast Spain.  It displays a medium-ruby color and aromas of spicy red and black berry fruit.   It is flavorful with a tart mid-palate, medium acidity and firm dry tannins on the finish.  

Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler                                                                                           Decenber 3, 2014

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