Spain’s 10 most expensive red wines
We’re all aware of the existence of very highly-priced wines, but perhaps we don’t rightly know the exact circumstances resulting in prices which soar far beyond what we might expect.
In the first place, it’s a question of supply and demand or, to put it another way, of general interest; if there are many consumers wanting to get hold of a particular wine, the producer can raise the price. If production is also low, and therefore there’s a reduction in the number of bottles, this affects the situation even more.
There’s no doubt the wine’s quality is an extremely important benefit; there aren’t any poor quality wines among the most expensive. The history and area of provenance are other factors to take into consideration; wineries with a long track record are not just selling wine, but also history and tradition. It’s a similar story with the denominations of origin, as those which enjoy greater prestige and fame find they can put up the prices of their best bottles; the scores awarded by guides and critics, as well as the international awards accrued by the wines, result in pushing prices upwards.
Ageing also makes wines dearer, since the barrels and the length of time the wine rests in the cellar incur a substantial cost. Likewise, the price of glass bottles and corks also plays a significant part. However, the one factor that has the greatest effect on the price of a wine in countries such as France, namely the quality of the vintage, isn’t always clearly reflected in the price of the wines; only a few of Spain’s great wines undergo significant price variations when released onto the market. Nevertheless, old vintages do reach unimaginable, differing prices at auction and are the object of seemingly indiscriminate speculation, especially in the most highly-prized vintages.
Which are currently Spain’s 10 most expensive red wines?
Dominio de Pingus, Ribera del Duero DO
The most expensive wine in Spain first appeared in 1995 and since then it has continued to reappraise and receive compliments from the whole of the specialist international press. We’re looking at a wine that became a coveted, extremely desirable object almost from the first bottle; to such an extent that it’s not easy to come across bottles of Pingus, due to such a very high demand, even despite its cost.
Bodegas Valduero, Ribera del Duero DO
A limited edition of 200 bottles which exemplifies the Tempranillo’s perpetuity. A wine that’s handcrafted in its production, made using a selection of the best grapes from the El Cascorral vineyard, from 90 year-old vines grown on soils of alluvial deposit and stones, lying at an altitude of 800 metres. An exceptional wine to lay down, with magnificent purity at its heart, from a winery with an extensive range of both illustrious and little gems: Bodegas Valduero.
Álvaro Palacios, Priorat DOQ
Álvaro Palacios describes his exquisite, esteemed L'Ermita wine as a wine for intimacy, for which words can’t do justice, only pure emotion. L'Ermita caresses all of our senses with a texture that’s indescribable and a powerfulness enveloped in an exhilarating finesse; truly thrilling.
Álvaro Palacios is one of the most interesting figures of the Spanish wine-making scene. You only have to recognise his monumental work in three of Spain’s foremost wine denominations of origin: his contribution to the rediscovery of Priorat wines, his splendid work in the terroirs of the family-owned Palacios Remondo winery in Rioja, and his collaboration in the impulse given to the exemplary Bierzo wines in conjunction with his nephew, Ricardo. Camins del Priorat, La Montesa and Pétalos are some of the finest examples for proving exactly why this man is capable of producing one of the best wines in the world, and at the same time, enables us to enjoy wines with an unrivalled price-quality ratio.
Teso la Monja, Toro DO
Teso la Monja is the most remarkable wine from Marco Eguren in the Toro denomination, an oenological gem which elevates Spanish viticulture. A wine grown and produced in a biodynamic way, and crafted totally by hand, which comes to us presented in a case befitting its grandeur: a bottle of Teso La Monja accompanied by a replica bottle in a display case carved out of beech wood and designed to resemble the innovative, ovoid-shaped tank in which it has been produced biodynamically.
Accompanying it in the winery are some other magical wines, the consistently special Almirez, Románico and Victorino.
Bodega Contador, Rioja DOC
Contador is an outstanding wine and very expressive of its terroir. Benjamín Romeo demonstrates with it how a great wine can be produced in a small Rioja winery. Refined, sophisticated, exquisite, and validated on two occasions with the coveted glory of being awarded 100 points by the prestigious critic, Robert Parker. Love of the land, respect for roots, action when required, and passion. Bodega Contador makes incredible wines which should be tried without any hesitation.
Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero DO
The Vega Sicilia Únicos have become one of the undeniable reference among the best wines in the world. There’s the Único Reserva Especial, a fusion of the qualities found in various vintages, a wine with meticulous care taken in its production, whose elegance, restraint and excellence are seductive. An intellectual wine, a veritable legend, one which all good wine lovers should try at least once in their lives.
Álvaro Palacios, Priorat DOQ
Les Aubaguetes is one of the single-estate wines made by Álvaro Palacios in the Priorat. A vineyard with its own specific label for showcasing its beautiful fruit, grapes emanating from old Garnacha and Carineña vines in an area of obagues in Catalan (‘in the shade’ in English), in the district of Bellmunt. A top of the range wine, alluring with its floral aromas and the fruit’s intensity and purity.
Artadi, Viñedos de Álava
Viña el Pisón is the reflection of an original piece of land, a discerning vineyard and complex soils; a wine which conveys tradition, wisdom and passion. Viña El Pisón is minerality, fruitiness, and vivacity; it’s an absolute delight enveloping the palate, a magnificent, elegant and profound wine, that enables us to enjoy countless sensations of authenticity.
It sits alongside a wide range of wines, with the exceptional Viña de Gain offered as the entry for getting to know the Artadi catalogue and the excellence of Juan Carlos López de Lacalle’s work: a clean, elegant, refreshing wine and one of the finest organic wines.
Viña Sastre, Ribera del Duero DO
Pesus is the great wine from Viña Sastre, the historic winery in the Ribera del Duero. Only the finest grapes from the estates owned by the winery on the banks of the River Duero are involved in its production. At an altitude of over 800 metres and aged more than 90 years old, the bush vines plunge their roots deep into the calcareous clay soils, aiming to get a firm foothold in the ground so that they can face the harshness of the continental climate with security.
Viña Sastre also offers a Roble (Viña Sastre Roble) and a Crianza (Viña Sastre Crianza) of splendid quality and at a superb price.
Sierra Cantabria, Rioja DOC
Mágico is a wine which combines landscape, culture, tradition, ancestors and experiences. It emanates from a small, 1.18 ha parcel in San Vicente de la Sonsierra. A 100 year-old vineyard in which an array of varieties mingle, both red and white; all are included in the final coupage and the result is amazing.
Sierra Cantabria Mágico belongs to the Eguren Group, comprising the Teso la Monja, Viñedos de Páganos, Señorío de San Vicente, Viñedos Sierra Cantabria and Sierra Cantabria wineries.
Now you know Spain’s most expensive wines and their producers, perhaps you might also be interested in taking a look at the best-selling wines in Spain. If you’re after the assurance given by an esteemed critic, then don’t miss our Robert Parker selection.
Finally, we recommend you have a read through our Beginner’s guide to Spanish wine, a quick reference for becoming better acquainted with the whole gamut of Spanish wines, discovering which are the main regions and where to begin getting to know their best wines. An ideal guide for everyone with a passion for wine.