Both Spain and Portugal produce high-quality and exciting vintages, but just because it’s high-quality doesn’t mean it has to be extravagance. Whether you are looking for a white from southern Portugal’s Alentejano region or a red from the celebrated Rioja, we’ve got you covered with a list of exceptional wines that won’t break the bank.
Casa Agricola Alexandre Relvas 2017 Herdade de São Miguel Colheita Seleccionada Branco White (Alentejano); $15, 90 points. This zesty and tangy wine is packed with yellow fruits and citrus. Short oak aging has given a spicy edge that enhances the refreshing fruitiness of the wine. Drink from early 2019. Quintessential Wines. Best Buy. —R.V.
Fiuza 2015 Eminente Reserva Red (Tejo); $15, 90 points. This well-balanced wine is ripe with black fruits and soft with rounded tannins. It has a smoky, perfumed character along with touches of eucalyptus from the oak aging. The wine is immediately attractive, generous and ready to drink. Ecosur Group, LLC. Best Buys.—R.V.
Quinta da Alorna 2012 Portal da Aguia Reserva Red (Tejo); $15, 90 points. Produced from old vines of Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has powerful tannins and a dense, dusty texture. The black-currant flavors are intense, rich and bold. It has a good structure, still dominated by its fruit. Drink this wine now and until 2025. American B.D. Best Buy.—R.V.
Global Wines 2016 Cabriz Reserva Branco Encruzado (Dão); $11, 90 points. This is a beautiful wine, impressively bringing out the rich, creamy, yellow- and white-fruit flavors of Encruzado. A great value, it’s ripe, lightly herbal and ready to drink. Best Beverage Corporation. Best Buy.—Roger Voss
Castaño 2016 Alcaria Red (Yecla); $12, 89 points. This blend of Monastrell, Syrah and Garnacha Tintorera feels lively, its dark plum and berry aromas laced with chocolate. Smacking tannins create a dry sensation, framing ripe black plum and prune flavors. Complex notes of spice and tomato emerge on the firm finish. European Cellars. Best Buy.—Michael Schachner
Bodegas Martinez Corta 2016 Cepas Antiguas Selección Privada (Rioja); $12, 88 points. This bright and lively Tempranillo offers concentrated berry and plum aromas with a touch of oak. Grippy and a touch abrasive, it tastes of blackberry and subtle oak, finishing salty and savory, with mild heat. Classical Wines. Best Buy.—M.S.
Bodegas Aragonesas 2016 Viña Temprana Old Vines Tempranillo (Campo de Borja); $8, 88 points. This everyday Tempranillo offers chocolaty berry aromas. Tightly built, its dark, spicy raspberry and plum flavors finish bright and firm. A very good basic red. Scoperta Importing Co. Inc. Best Buy.—M.S.