Bodegas Franco Espanola
Ray Isle
August 17, 2017

Want value plus incredible craftsmanship? Go to Spain. There’s 
no other country on earth making as many amazing under-$20 bottles. (In fact, there’s no other country that grows as many grapes, period.) Luscious Monastrells from the Mediterranean coast, crisp whites from Rueda and Rías Baixas, subtle Tempranillos from Rioja—we’ve got a dozen bottles to track down right now.

2016 Luzón Verde Monastrell ($9) A wine 
that makes no bones about being brashly fruit-forward, this red from the Jumilla region is like sipping a basketful of wild blackberries.


2016 Vivanco Rioja Blanco ($10) Rioja’s principal white grape, Viura, gets added complexity from Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana Blanca in this green-apple, tingly white.


2016 Rioja Bordón Rosé ($10) An example 
of the Spanish shift away from traditional dark rosados toward a more (ahem) French style, this pale-pink wine smells of fresh strawberries.


2015 El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa ($13) Navarra’s sun-baked warmth and Garnacha from 80- to 100-year-old vines combine 
to produce a full-bodied, almost jammy red. 


2015 Avancia Cuvée de O Mencía ($14) 
Wild-herb aromas—thyme, bay—in this berry-rich red suggest the rugged hills of northwest Spain’s Valdeorras region. And it’s a lot less pricey than many wines from the region. 


2016 Can Feixes Blanc Selecció ($15) Full of tangerine and apple notes, this white blend isn’t sparkling, but a tiny amount of trapped carbon dioxide does give it a vivacious prickle on 
your tongue. Call it happy juice from Catalonia. 


2014 Castillo de Viñas Rioja Crianza ($15) This vanilla-scented red got a winemaking hand from Jesús Madrazo, the longtime winemaker at Rioja’s acclaimed Contino estate (whose wines run three or more times this price). 

2016 Gaba do Xil Godello ($15) Ancient vineyards in the Valdeorras region are 
the source for this fragrant, surprisingly concentrated white. 

2016 La Caña Albariño ($15) Fresh grapefruit, both the flesh and the zest, is a signature Albariño character. It’s abundant in this brightly juicy bottling.


2016 Lícia Albariño ($17) This straw-colored white, sourced from vineyards along the Miño River dividing Spain and Portugal, has citrus flavors that end with peppery, cut-grass notes.


2016 Martínsancho Verdejo ($17) Bright green apple and smoky flint notes make this 
a perennial go-to version of this white variety from north-central Spain’s Rueda region.


2015 Altamente Volalto Monastrell ($18) Organically farmed grapes from the Jumilla region, smart winemaking, and flavors of 
ripe plums and cracked black pepper—bring 
on the chorizo and jamón!