More Great Spanish Red Wines

Last time, we reviewed the fantastic tasting 2015 Bodegas LAN Reserva. In this article, we add two more great Spanish reds to try, both terrific wine values.

Cune Crianza 2017 review
A delicious Tempranillo – 2017 Cune Crianza

2017 Cune Crianza Rioja

The 2017 Cune Crianza Tempranillo is another terrific wine from Spain’s Rioja wine region. I found it at the Foster City Costco store for $9.59. Elsewhere, the 2017 Cune Crianza sells for $12.49 at Total Wine, $12.99 at KL Wines, and $13.99 at the Spanish Table stores. The Cune is a lovely Tempranillo wine that is hard to beat at this low price. It has a host of big ratings, including 91 from the Wine Spectator and 90 from Vinous. We mark it at 90 Points.

We are a big fans of Cune; see previous reviews. Rioja Tempranillo wines tend to be medium-bodied and mellow, with a good balance of tannins and acidity. The Cune is just that with a softer tone with 85% Tempranillo. The rest is a mix of Garnacha Tinta and Mazuelo. The wine also finishes nicely. For more information on this wine, go to the Cune Website.

2018 Juan Gil Silver Label

Juan Gil 2018 Silver
Juan Gil Silver Table – 90 Points

Equally delicious, but a totally different variety of wine, is the 2018 Juan Gil Silver Label from the Spanish wine region of Jumilla. The grape variety is Monastrell, or Mourvedre in France. The price at Costco is $11.99. At Total Wine the price is $12.99 ($11.69 six-pack price), and at KL Wines $13.99. The alcohol is 15% but it drinks much lighter and softer. The Juan Gil has beautiful cherry notes, a lovely balance on the palate with lots to contemplate. Each sip brings more to discover. I rate it at 90 Points. The Wine Advocate 93 Points, and James Suckling 90. 

Both the Cune Crianza and Juan Gil wines will go with a variety of foods. Chicken and red meats will go, but my favorite is to pair it with Paella. 

cook a paella with the Juan Gil
Paella cooked in a Paella Pan

Have you tried making your own Paella?  The most important thing in making a Paella is the rice. Get Paella rice that is Valencia or Bomba. Mollie Stone’s in Burlingame carries this Spanish rice. The next important thing is Saffron. This is the world’s most expensive spice, but you only need a little.  In a mortar, place the saffron and add a pinch of sugar. With the mortar grain is up. Add a few teaspoons of hot water and let it steep like tea. Cook the Paella in a cazuela or a Paella pan. The Spanish Table has all you need to cook a Paella, including a recipe. 

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