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Gas, food, housing...basically everything seems to be more expensive lately. Of course, inflation is affecting almost everything we buy nowadays, and wine is no exception. Basically, every region seems to be more expensive. Napa, France, Italy, just about everywhere. However, one area that seems to be unaffected with pricing is Spain.
Spain has always been one of the best areas for value in wine and I feel that this is still true today. What wine region can you purchase a wine from 2012, it be their current release AND it be about $20?! The Hidalgo Rioja Gran Reserva Tradicion H 2012 is the perfect example. This wine is already aged over 10 years and is $21.99.
Unlike most wine regions, the term Gran Reserva actually means something in Spain. In California, a winery can make any wine and slap Reserve on the label. However, in Spain, there are strict laws about how long a wine needs to be aged to be labeled Reserve or Gran Reserva. For Gran Reserva wines in Spain, they must be aged a minimum of 5 years. Because of this, they cannot release the wine until at least 5 years after being made. Most would think that because of this the price would be extremely expensive, but thankfully Spain still keeps their prices extremely reasonable. Many wineries age their wines even longer than the mandatory 5 years.
The Hidalgo has let their wine age for almost 10 years prior to their release. Like I stated earlier, not only does it already have 10 years of age and cost $21.99, but it has also been given a 93-point rating from Wine Enthusiast and was #80 wine of their Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2019.
"Heady aromas of malted milk ball, ripe berry fruits and tobacco are warm and welcoming. Hailing from a warm year, this feels full but playful, with tannins that are only mildly scratchy. Flavors of vanilla, tobacco, butter, herb and dried berry fruit are textbook for Rioja gran reserva, while this takes a while to fully unfold on the finish. Drink through 2035." -Wine Enthusiast
So not only does it have 10 years of age right now, but Wine Enthusiast feels that it can age for another 13 years! Try and get that value from any other wine region.
I highly recommend giving the Hidalgo Tradicion H Gran Reserva a try and start drinking more Spanish wine in general. With prices of everything else seeming to go up, it is nice to be able to find something that seems to still be an amazing value.
Hidalgo Rioja Gran Reserva Tradición H Gran Reserva 2012