I've probably been remiss in not featuring more Spanish reds. There are scores of interesting indigenous grapes and regions in Spain, along with a winemaking tradition that dates back to Roman times. I think if I have one complaint about Spanish reds in general, it is that they can be over-reliant on new oak barrels. Oak aging is an important winemaking tool, but when done incorrectly, oak can obscure both grape variety and the wine's sense of place.
Enter this heartbreaker from Ribeira Sacra. The Ribeira Sacra ("sacred shore") is a small but increasingly important winegrowing appellation in Galicia- the "panhandle" of Spain that lies north of Portugal. Mencía grapes are grown on tiny, very steep terraces that are sometimes only accessible by boat from the river.
The Guímaro red blend doesn't see any new oak at all, and offers a pitch perfect combination of fruit and mineral notes. There is a really strong sense of place here. Because of the fresh style, this tastes as if it had 3-5 years of additional bottle age. I think this is one of the most consistent and underrated wines in the world.
85% Mencía, 15% assorted traditional varieties. Serve cool.