Hey sports & wine fans! The winners in Spain aren’t limited to the soccer field – I’m talking about the wines.
Lots of good ones – Rioja (red & white), Tempranillo, Priorat, Albariño, Cava, Ribera del Duero, some great new boutique blends and some traditional favorites… and don’ t get me started on Sherry. Yes, Sherry is a good thing. More on all of these in later posts. Makes my head spin and my mouth water!
For today, my Spanish pick is
- POINT OF INTEREST>>> Garnacha is the Spanish synonym for Grenache. It grows all over southern France and is the 2nd most planted red grape in Spain (after Tempranillo). It adds fruit, body & softness to harsher, edgy grapes like Tempranillo (in Rioja and Priorat blends) and Syrah (in Rhône blends like Chateauneuf du Pape ) .
I give you 2 picks today… for 2 important reasons:
1. They are both smooth and easy to drink – like Pinot Noir, garnacha has a rustic quality and softer tannins than most red wines, and
2. They are both priced nice enough to be the base of your red sangria! (lots of good red sangria recipes on the web, if you need help, leave a comment and I’ll steer you in the right direction)
Las rocas means, “the rocks” -the grapes that make this wine grow in arid, rocky soil at high altitude in Calatayud, Spain (an important center of cork production!).
It has a deep ruby color with aromas and flavors of black cherries and raspberries with hints of cinnamon and pepper and a touch of oak. It has a medium weight in the mouth and a lingering finish. You can find this at retail or online from $9-11 a bottle
There is also an “old vine” version of this wine that will cost you a couple more bucks. The wine is made only from the grape juice from vines that are 70-100 years old. Like humans, the vines are less ferile with age, so they produce fewer grapes, but what they produce is concentrated and OUTSTANDING!!! This is proof of improving with age! You can get the old vine version of this wine for $16-19 a bottle. This version I wouldn’t recommend for your sangria.
Ahhh, but there’s another Spanish garnacha that’s the best of both worlds…
This wine is also from the high altitude in Calatayud, Spain AND also made with from those old vines. So, it’s got some great concentration of aromas and flavors.
Just like the old vine Las Rocas, it has a rich ruby color, aromas and flavors of black berries, plums, cooking spices and licorice and a hint of pepper. But this beauty can be fetched for $9-10 a bottle (easily $5-8 less than the old vine Las Rocas). So if you’re looking for a bargin, this is you pick! You’ll love it alone or in your sangria!
Enjoy and GO W.I.L.D!