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Extremadura wines: 21 to try

In partnership with DO Extremadura. Where you can find them in export markets, these wines represent fantastic value for money, says David Williams as he picks his top buys

Encina Blanca de Alburquerque, Espumoso Brut, Vino de la Tierra 2017 87


Rich and full in flavour, a blend based on Chardonnay, Macabeo and Cayetana with a citrus-fruit gum character and plenty of zip. Tangy and interesting on the palate with creamy apple fleshiness. Drink 2019-2020 Alcohol 12.5%

Martínez Paiva, Brut Nature, Vino de la Tierra 2017 87


Pure and clean, gently honeyed, quite refined sparkling Macabeo, well made with nice, bright sweet fruit. There’s a citrus-fruit note of candied mandarin that works very well. Good length. Drink 2019-2022 Alc 12.5%

Pago los Balancines, Alunado Sauvignon Blanc, Ribera del Guadiana 2014 90


Rich in colour and creamy-viscous, with hints of coconut and exotic fruit, but nice and perky still: a complex and intense barrel-fermented Sauvignon with a tangy citrus wine-gum finish. Drink 2019-2022 Alc 13.5%

Pago los Balancines, Balancines Roble Sobre Lías, Ribera del Guadiana 2018 90


Creamy and intense, a modernist white Rioja-alike from Chardonnay and Viura. Brightness from good balancing acidity and a lovely cremosity and length. Rich and gastronomic; serious, with a herbal hint. Drink 2019-2023 Alc 13.5%

Martínez Paiva, Solo Cayetana, Ribera del Guadiana 2018 89


Part barrel fermented, this convincing version of local Cayetana has gently mouthfilling richness – a nice rounded character with lots of personality and creaminess, exotic fruit and citrus freshness. Drink 2019-2021 Alc 14%

Viña Puebla, Fermentado en Barrica Macabeo, Ribera del Guadiana 2017 89

£12.99 (2014)

Honey, nougat and ripe fruit, but with really good acidity too, so bright and focused – some tension, but mostly just lovely Rhône-ish richness for food. Clean oak, ripe and rich but balanced. Drink 2019-2022 Alc 13.5%

Coloma, Alarije, Vino de la Tierra 2018 88


Quite deep colour, with a pleasant Malvasía-esque vibe, some exotic fruit, banana and then a nice clean zippiness. A touch of fat. An attractive first try (for this taster) of revived local variety Alarije. Drink 2019-2020 Alc 12%

Leneus, Cayetana, Vino de la Tierra 2018 86


An aromatic and spicy take on the local speciality, with an almost Alsace-like stone-fruit fleshiness, subtle floral hints and broadness. Plenty of charm. Drink 2019-2021 Alc 12%

Pago los Balancines, Barbas de Gata, Vino de la Tierra 2017 93


From ungrafted pre-phylloxera vines at 800m altitude on sandy soils that ‘look like a beach’, this is racy, pale Garnacha in ‘Pinot Noir of the south’ mode. Supple, spicy and cherry-ish with some wildness. Drink 2019-2029 Alc 13%

Alvear, Palacio Quemado, La Zarcita, Vino de la Tierra 2017 92


Lovely ripe, juicy style with a distinct Portuguese feel; really open and succulent dark plumminess and just a hint of sweet aniseed; even a touch of saltiness. This is a wine of place. Drink 2019-2022 Alc 13.5%

Pago de las Encomiendas, Xentia de Juan Carrillo, Ribera del Guadiana 2014 91


Bright Graciano-Syrah blend with inky fruit. A bit baked, but freshened by a bitter vermouth-like note. Ripe, with medicinal herbs and integrated oak, juicy finish. Drink 2019-2023 Alc 14.5%

Pago los Balancines, Mastines de los Balancines Cabernet Indígena, Ribera del Guadiana 2015 91


A 100% Cabernet: bright berries, the dark intensity of wild blackberry and currant. Concentrated and powerful, yes, but expressive, juicy and not at all overworked. Drink 2019-2029 Alc 14.5%

Alvear, Palacio Quemado, Crianza, Ribera del Guadiana 2016 89


Tempranillo-Cabernet blend with dark strawberry and fruits of the forest character. But as always with this estate, there’s a natural drinkability from the tart plummy acidity, along with balance and a touch of savouriness from the well-integrated oak. Drink 2019-2022 Alc 13%

Habla, No18, Vino de la Tierra 2015 89


Rich, dark-but-pure and nicely fleshy Syrah, with some floral elements in the blackberry fruit. Again, from this producer, very smoothly put together with polished tannins and excellent concentration, but it’s agile, balanced and fresh. Drink 2019-2026 Alc 14.5%

Martínez Paiva, 56 Barricas, Ribera del Guadiana 2015 89


Tempranillo from vines more than 45 years old. Brambly-jam nose and a Ribera del Duero-like character. Cherry, loganberry and damson and a plum-skin tartness, plus a sweet kiss of oak. Nice bit of tannic bite on the finish, with bright fruit. Drink 2019-2026 Alc 14.5%

Viña Puebla, Madre del Agua, Ribera del Guadiana 2016 89


With a big swish of oak, flavours of raspberry-almond Bakewell tart and dark cherry. With attractively smooth tannins, this is a very satisfying, comforting Garnacha-dominant blend. Drink 2019-2023 Alc 14.5%

Viña Puebla, Pi, Vino de la Tierra 2015 89


Bright, modern Rioja-ish blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet and Syrah, aged for eight months in oak and eight in bottle, with some contact with the lees of white wines. Delightful loganberry and red-fruit flavours; supple, with integrated oak. Drink 2019-2023 Alc 14.5%

Coloma, Selección Garnacha, Vino de la Tierra 2015 88


100% Garnacha Tintorera (or Alicante Bouschet) with an intriguing, appealing nose featuring just-ripe dark and inky fruit: mulberry, cherry, even elderberry. Just the right nip of tannin and freshness for food. Drink 2019-2022 Alc 14.5%

Habla Del Silencio, Vino de la Tierra 2017 88


This is Rhône meets Bordeaux meets Rioja, being a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. It’s a plushly upholstered red with good dark cherry and blackberry fruit, concentrated and warming but with enough juiciness for drinkablility. Drink 2019-2023 Alc 14%

Martínez Paiva, Solo Graciano, Ribera del Guadiana 2018 88


Very, very ripe; inky with baked fruit and lots of extract and sweet dark fruit. It’s a hot-climate wine with so much character, it’s almost Port-like. The tannins frame it all nicely. Drink 2019-2023 Alc 14.5%

Peña del Valle, Selección de Familia Barrica, Vino de la Tierra 2016 88


An attractive medicinal streak brings freshness to dark blackberry fruit in an intriguing blend of Syrah, Tempranillo and Petit Verdot. Bright and succulent with appetising, sinewy tannins and a lively finish. Drink 2019-2025 Alc 14%

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