Margaret Swaine’s wine picks: Spanish sippers

The diversity of styles offered by the signature grapes of Spain is well illustrated in this Saturday’s Vintages release. Find these picks via

Leira Albariño 2010  $16.95 (90 Points)
Spain’s albariño grape hails mostly from the verdant, cool climate Rias Baixas area of the northwest. This stylish version has a terrific forward bouquet. Medium bodied with a nice grip it has good minerality and refreshing acidity. Flavours of pear, nettles and lime come through with verve. One of my favorite varietals for fish and oysters.

Baron de Ley Gran Reserva 2001  $29.95 (91 Points)
This gold medal winner from the Rioja region is 90 per cent tempranillo. It has a fascinating earthy, oak and barnyard nose. Aged for over two years in new French and American barrels, it has good structure, interesting complexity and silky tannins. Notes of incense, spices and lingering savoury, fruity flavours grace the palate. Classic traditional old style Rioja.

Taja Reserva 2006   $14.95 (88 Points)
Half monastrell (aka mourvèdre in France), the third most widely planted grape in Spain, this value priced red from the southern Jumilla Denominación de Origen is easy to enjoy. Aged a year in oak it’s smooth and quite rich. Fairly intense, it has flavours of blueberry pie and sun baked cherries with hints of savoury game. Have with pizza, burgers or chili.