Spain is home to many passionate producers that pride themselves on crafting opulent styles of wine with impressive aging potential. From the concentrated and oaked wines of Rioja to the aromatic and polished wines of Ribera del Duero, Spain has so much to offer. Vinfolio’s resident Master of Wine Adam Lapierre says that more collectors should get excited about Spanish wines, as many wines from this country are growing more valuable and delicious every year.
To help you start or add to a fine Spanish wine collection, we’ve created a list of the top five wines from Spain that we think collectors should consider adding to their cellars. While there are many other wines worth collecting from this region, these five wines are particularly fascinating to drink and may even grow in value as they approach maturity. Investing in these wines will give you a glimpse into why so many wine lovers are infatuated with the Spanish region.
The Top Five Wines from Spain for Collectors
To come up with a list of the top five wines from Spain that collectors should consider investing in now, we looked at tasting notes from top critics as well as each bottle’s price performance on the secondary market over time. Each of the five wines in the list below received a score of 98 points or more from at least one reputable wine critic. We selected wines with deep complexity and some aging potential, as these are qualities that serious collectors look for when shopping for wine to add to their cellar. With these criteria in mind, here are the top five Spanish wines on the market right now.
Tasting Notes: Jay Miller of Wine Advocate says, “Purple/black in color with an ethereal bouquet found only in the greatest wines. Vanilla, spice box, truffle, wild blueberry, black raspberry, and blackberry liqueur are descriptors that come to mind but which cannot really convey the other-worldly nature of this perfume. On the palate, it is opulent, beautifully delineated, elegant, and powerful all at the same time.” (100 points)
Drinking Window: 2045-2055.
Why You Should Invest: Josh Raynolds of International Wine Cellar compares this vintage of Artadi’s Viña El Pison label to some of the finest grand cru Vosne-Romanée. Like an iconic grand cru, it is seductive and almost unbelievably complex in flavor. If you enjoy blue-chip wines from Burgundy or Bordeaux but would like more experience with other wine regions, this Spanish wine is an excellent transition. It has a palate similar to French wines like 2016 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon or 2015 Domaine Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanée Aux Malconsorts Premier Cru; however, the native Tempranillo grape gives this wine a distinctive Spanish personality.
Tasting Notes: Luis Gutierrez of Wine Advocate says, “The 2006 is a fantastic modern Vega Sicilia in the making, powerful and clean, still very young and marked by the élevage with a whiff of American oak and a creamy texture in the palate. It should age very well for a very long time.” (98 points)
Drinking Window: 2020-2035.
Why You Should Invest: Vega Sicilia is, without question, one of the finest producers in Spain due to winemaker Pablo Alvarez’s intense focus on quality. Vinfolio CEO Don St. Pierre explains, “Pablo Alvarez’s attention to detail for every single aspect of the winegrowing and winemaking process is extraordinary. So many producers talk about quality. Pablo walks the talk unlike anyone I have ever seen.” The 2006 vintage was particularly successful for Vega Sicilia. It is already quite approachable and lush, but with a few more years in storage, it will evolve in flavor even further. It’s one of the finest vintages of the decade for this producer.
Tasting Notes: Jay Miller of Wine Advocate says, “It offers up a perfume beginning to develop some complexity, terrific volume, and richness on the palate, and a lengthy, pure finish. This is a great wine that should have a 40 year lifespan.” (99 points)
Drinking Window: 2035-2045.
Why You Should Invest: The 2005 vintage is known for being particularly powerful, and Dominio de Pingus’ flagship wine Pingus is considered by many critics to be the most powerful of all of the wines made in the Castilla y León region that year. However, while this wine is intense in flavor, it’s also finessed and balanced. It’s made from 70-year-old vines that produce extremely concentrated berries that are complex and full of subtle flavors like violet. This is a wine that keeps much of its power hidden. When you taste it, you’ll notice the sweet notes of raspberry and cola, but on the finish, you’ll get a strong punch of rich chocolate and firm tannin that lasts for minutes. If you’re looking for an elegant yet intense Spanish wine, this is an excellent choice.
Variety: Pedro Ximénez
Tasting Notes: Luis Gutierrez of Wine Advocate says, “It has a nose and palate of chocolate-covered candied orange, spices, molasses. I’d say the dominant aromas in the nose are dark chocolate. It’s very dense, developing notes of very concentrated licorice and balsamic, mint, camphor, and evolving notes of petrol with time. Complex, rare, and unique.” (98 points)
Drinking Window: Now-2028
Why You Should Invest: This is a truly special unicorn wine. Only 8,400 bottles of this wine have been produced, so it is exceptionally rare. The flavor is also extraordinary. Made from the sweet, low-acid Pedro Ximénez grape, the wine was aged in old American oak barrels for nearly 60 years to enrich it with complex aged flavors. The producer waited until the wine was very thick and concentrated before bottling it in September 2014. If you enjoy sweet fortified wines, particularly sherry, then this is a perfect wine to add to your collection.
Variety: A proprietary Priorat blend of 90 percent Garnacha, eight percent Cariñena (also called Samsó), and two percent white varieties (which may include Garnacha Blanca or Macabeo).
Tasting Notes: Stephen Tanzer of International Wine Cellar says, “An essence of berries on the nose; like a liqueur, with an almost medicinal suggestion of sheer concentration. Superripe and incredibly lush; as thick as this is, there’s no heaviness thanks to its penetrating spiciness and solid backbone. Wonderfully perfumed in the mouth. Urgent finishing fruit currently hides the lush tannins. A wine of extraordinary length.” (98 points)
Drinking Window: Now-2025.
Why You Should Invest: Álvaro Palacios is one of the most reputable names in Spanish wine. His family owned the famed Rioja estate Palacios Remondo, but Álvaro ultimately decided not to inherit the estate. Instead, he set off to start his own winery. He spent a few years in Bordeaux working under Jean-Pierre Moueix of Château Pétrus, who taught him French winemaking techniques. When he returned to Spain, he decided to use these French techniques to rebuild some of Priorat’s abandoned vineyards. His wines helped put Priorat on the map. The 2000 L’Ermita Velles Vinyes vintage is a perfect example of how elegant and refined Spanish wine can be. It has the structure of a top-quality Rhône blend with the lightly spicy flavors of traditional Spanish wine.
Which Spanish Wines Should You Invest In?
All of the wines above are delicious, come from reputable Spanish regions and producers, and are age-worthy. To choose the best wines for you, you’ll need to consider which wines best match your preferences and what your goals are for your collection.
- Love sweet wine? Try the 1955 Toro Albalá Pedro Ximénez.
- Enjoy rich, powerful, and elegant Tempranillo blends? Consider the Artadi Viña, Vega Sicilia, and Dominio de Pingus wines.
- Prefer lighter wines or drink a lot of Rhône blends? You’ll enjoy the Álvaro Palacios vintage most.
These top five wines from Spain are only a handful of the best vintages from this region on the market today.
Flavor is just one element to consider for those looking to narrow down this list of top Spanish wines. Another important factor is value. The most valuable wines on this list are from Dominio de Pingus and Álvaro Palacios (each currently cost between $700 to $900 per bottle, on average). The Vega Sicilia and Artadi Viña wines are also quite valuable and are worth anywhere from $350 to $400 per bottle on average. All of these wines are also age-worthy and will keep well for 15 years or more, so they will likely increase in value as they approach maturity. The Toro Albalá vintage will age for another five years or more, but at about $150 per bottle, it is not as valuable on the secondary market as the other wines on this list and likely won’t gain dramatically in value.
It’s important to remember that these top five wines from Spain are only a handful of the best vintages from this region on the market today. There are many more incredible wines and producers to explore from this country that showcase just how elegant, powerful, and valuable these wines can be.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.