100% Garnacha from Calatayud, Spain.
SRP of $15 and available for as low as $9.
From the winemaker:
“The vibrant red color of our 2009 Garnacha hints at its rich dark cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors. This well-structured wine integrates nuances of oak with round tannins to deliver a rich palate of decadent fruit flavors.
By cold-soaking the grapes prior to fermentation, we extracted the full range of color and flavors for which Garnacha is widely renowned. We fermented the grapes for 15 days at temperatures between 75°F and 82°F. Malolactic fermentation softened the mouthfeel and added depth and nuance to the Garnacha. A portion of the wine was aged in French and American oak barrels for nearly one year.
Today we go back to Spain, and specifically to the Calatayud to sample a 100% Garnacha from very old vines (up to 80 years). If this scenario sounds familiar it’s because our #1 rated red wine is also a Garnacha from the same region and also from very old vines — the Evodia Garnacha. In fact, today’s wine comes from the same person behind the Evodia, Eric Solomon, who it seems has a nose for value Spanish wines.
Similar to the Evodia, the Las Rocas is grown at high altitude and in rocky soil that gets lots of sun. These factors plus the old age of the vines means you’re looking at low yields, but also very flavorful fruit. The question is whether this will translate into a flavorful wine that can parallel the magic of the Evodia. Let’s find out.
The 2009 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha begins with aromas of ripe dark fruit like blackberry and black cherry plus a little licorice and even a few hints of banana. The wine tastes very smooth, silky and easy to drink. The primary flavors are blackberry again along with a good dose of oak. (Unlike the Evodia which only sees stainless steel, portions of this wine spend a good amount of time in oak.) The fruit flavors focus nicely on the finish and are followed by a burst of spice. Add in some chewy, dry tannins that last for a good long time and we’ve got a winner.
This is a different tasting wine than the Evodia thanks to the oak aging, and overall it is really excellent. In fact, if I could have found it a dollar cheaper like the Evodia it would have been a bulk buy! Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth the purchase of a few bottles!
Overall Rating: 8.0
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