Regardless of what wines from Spain cross my desk, I know they will be interesting drinking.
2009 Valdelana "Agnus" Rioja Crianza ($24). Rounded flavors of ripe cherries. Full-bodied and well-balanced. Takeaway: A more-modern offering from this classic region.
2008 Muro "Bujanda" Rioja Crianza ($15). Dark-cherry flavors served on a platter of old oak with touches of tannins and bitters. Takeaway: And this is the traditional side of Rioja.
2011 Eccoci Girona white ($22). New arrival from east of Barcelona features a roussanne-dominated blend of white grapes. Very pleasant, light, quite spicy, good structure, long on the palate. Takeaway: Walks a nice line between fragrance and crispness.
2009 Eccoci Gerona "Super Premium" red ($34). Very nicely made blend of marcelan and Bordeaux-style grapes. Still tight and tannic. On the purple fruit side with hints of cola and pencil lead (the cab franc). Takeaway: It’s a serious wine that doesn’t neatly fall in a category — except one that should age well for some time.
2011 Beldui Txakolina (not available). From the Basque region and made with a blend of indigenous white grapes, it has herbal, tart, chalky flavors with green apple skins and a touch of gaminess in the finish. Takeaway: Unusual but interesting.