The continual renaissance of Spain’s wine industry is something that all wine lovers should be grateful for. The many wines coming out of Spain today are of good quality, and yet they continue to remain affordable. I was given a bottle of the 2010 Capítulo 8 Aňada Garnacha from the La Mancha wine region, and this was a delightful wine for those of us who had the opportunity to sample it. This wine had a nice ruby red color in the glass, and the aromas were of cherries, red berries, spice, leather, and an earthiness. The flavors that followed were of tart cherries, boysenberries, raspberries, tobacco leaves, black olives, leather, cloves, and the taste of dirt as you travel down a dirt road. This was a somewhat complex wine, with layers of flavors that just kept coming out the more that we drank it. This Garnacha was medium bodied, with approachable tannins, and a long finish. This is a wine to find and enjoy.
The 2009 Crucillon Garnacha Tinto is a wonderful, light, refreshing fruity red wine, that is easy to drink on its own, or would pair well with grilled lamb chops. The aromas associated with this wine are red berries, cherries, spice, earthiness, and wood. The flavors follow what the nose detected, and are cherries, red raspberries, black olives, earthiness, pepper, and oak. As with most Garnacha wines, this wine is light on tannins, has good balance, and a soft finish. This wine is affordably priced, and is a great every day drinking wine.
The Razón Vino Tinto is produced from ancient vine Garnacha (a minimum of 20 years old), and hails from just outside of the Rioja wine region in Spain. Wine production in this area of Spain dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. But it wasn’t until the 1850′s that the regions first winery was founded. Also, at about this time the French came into this region looking for phylloxera-free vineyards, after their vines had been decimated. The French brought their wine making techniques to this area, and introduced the French oak barrels that soon became the standard for wine production in Rioja. This helped put Rioja on the map for its great wines.
The Razón Vino Tinto 2005 has a beautiful ruby red color to it. Fresh aromas of strawberries, raspberries, and chocolate burst out of the glass. The flavors of dark berries, plum, a hint of black pepper, and soft tannins compliment this wine well. It is medium-bodied, with smooth tannins and a long berry finish. A very quaffable wine that is easy to drink on its own, or would pair up very well with spicy barbecued ribs.
In north-central Spain, just south of Rioja lies the wine region of Calatayud, which benefits from high altitudes and a continental climate, which offers vast temperature differences between day and night. Most of the vineyards lie on what was an ancient river bed, and the ground is fertile for growing purposes. The Garnacha vineyards in the Calatayud region are between 70-100 years in age, and you can tell with the rich, beautiful wines that are being produced throughout this area.
Las Rocas do San Alejandro Garnacha 2007 is a very nice, quaffable wine. The color in the glass is deep ruby, and on the nose are aromas of spice, cherries, black raspberry, and mushrooms. On the palate this wine offers flavors of tart cherries, raspberries, strawberries, tobacco, spice, and a hint of earthiness. It is a well balanced wine, smooth on the palate, with great flavors, a good finish, and medium tannins. This is a good wine for the value, with a retail price of approximately $10, one that I would recommend.