It's okay, Walt: I'm fine with some gross generalizations. LIke these.
I would only add to your Shiraz generalization (and by extension a lot of New World stuff, as in CA and even WA), a distressingly low level of acidity, which along with the over-ripe fruit and the oak and the spoofing makes for flabby, boring wines.
With the Spanish, I think the rush to over-oaking is a concomitant to the "revolution" that Spain's winemaking traditions have been going through for the last several years. The folks that are newest to the techonological and philosophical and educational trends are usually the ones that adopt those trends with the most gusto, and I think that's the case for Spain.
I can recall (and I'm pretty sure Tom Hill can to) a time not terribly long ago when the great majority of Spanish wines were dirty, unsanitary, often spoiled, usually heavily oxidizes, and damned near undrinkable. There were a handful of reds around that had legendary status, and a few young upstarts that were trying to do interesting things, but by and large, Spanish wines, especially the whites, were crap. Especially what was exported.
In the 80s, all that changed. Partially because of Spain coming out of it's self-imposed isolation and striving to rejoin the European community, partially because of improved economics, partially because technology started making an impression....for a lot of reasons, really...Spanish wines began to clean up their act, and successfully market themselves at the same time.
But the youthful exuberance that brought us the emergence of Albarino on the international scene, also brought us a bunch of nouveau riche Madrileno yahoos who started tinkering around with what had made Albarino so inviting in the first place. It got to be more about building fancy mansions and having bragging rights about whose wines fetched the most money.
Ditto Priorat: I can remember very well the first time I stumbled on the Rene Barbier wines-----wow, focused, intensely flavored, crisp whites and flavorful reds that were anything but what most people thought of when they tried Spanish wines. Nobody even knew what Priorat was...or where it was...then, just that these wines were amazingly good for the price.
But once Priorat got discovered, and the money started pouring in, it got to be a race to see who could make the most over-the-top, I'm Bigger Than You Are wine. Oak, oak, and more oak. Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah started showing up.
It was inevitable, really. That's what happens when you change a moribund, tradition-bound society into a dynamic, energized society. Some good things, some bad things, but I think you end up, by and large, with better basic wines, and a few absolute standouts, so you're better off than you were before.
All I know is Spanish wines are waaaaaay more interesting than they were before (sometimes the good old days sucked, you know?), and I'm drinking more o f them, and from more different places too.