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As we noted in our review of the Monte Ducay Reserva 2009 and the Alto Cinco Garnacha 2012 a few weeks ago, the Carinena region in northern Spain has a long history of winemaking going all the way back to the 3rd century B.C. The vineyards in this area consist of mostly rocky soils at relatively high altitudes with vines averaging 40 years of age. In fact, the area is so known for its rocky soils that the locals call the wines “el vino de las piedras”, or “wine of the rocks”. Today’s selections come from Grandes Vinos y Vinedos S.A. winery which was founded in 1997 and has rapidly become one of the larger in the region.
First up is the 2011 Beso de Vino Seleccion, a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Garnacha from Carinena, Aragon, Spain. It has an SRP of $12 and is available for as low as $8. It is imported by Steve Miles Selections. Sample submitted for review.
From the bottle:
“Antonio the Bull, kissed this wine and he fell in love. Now he runs around the world and offers this wine to you. Beso de Vino ‘Kiss of Wine’, the Spanish Temptation in a bottle. Fall in love. Have Fun. Beso de Vino.
Garnet color. Roasted coffee, baked berry, chocolate covered espresso bean and sweet cherry aromas follow through to supple, fruity medium-to-full body with tangy apple accents and lively balanced tannins.
One thing that stands out about this bottle before you even open it is the latest generation of screwcap which has three tiny holes in it:
Thanks to a special membrane in the screwcap itself, these holes allow microscopic and controlled amounts of oxygen into the bottle just like a cork with no worries of cork taint or of allowing too much air in while still being super easy to open and re-close. As someone who prefers the ease of opening of a screwcap this sounds like a great innovation to me, but let’s see how the wine tastes!
The 2011 Beso de Vino Seleccion begins with a very pleasant, strong aroma of black cherry, blackberry, plum and licorice plus a little menthol and white pepper. Tasting this medium-bodied wine shows lots of sweet, thick, ripe dark berry fruit but also tons of cola and licorice that dominates the mid-palate and into the finish. You’ll also find good acidity in this easy to drink wine. It ends dry, grippy, and a bit bitter but with good length.
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Overall Rating: 7.5
Next is the 2011 Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha which is 100% Garnacha from Carinena, Aragon, Spain. It has an SRP of $12 and is available for as low as $8. This wine is also imported by Steve Miles Selections. Sample submitted for review.From the bottle:
“Garnet violet color. Banana nut bread toast, berry compote, and delicate spice aromas follow through on a round entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with a hint of green apple and mint jelly. Finished with round and balanced tannins and a crisp and pleasant acidity.
The 2011 Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha begins with an excellent and fruity aroma filled with black cherry, plum, violet and lavender notes along with touches of vanilla, mint and smoke. This wine comes from 40 year old vines and spent 4 months in new French oak. Tasting reveals a delicious medium-bodied wine filled with savory sweet dark berry fruit and nice touches of spice. Sure enough those hints of banana nut bread mentioned on the back label come through as well. Add to that good acidity and a soft and smooth texture and you’ve got one really tasty wine that is hard to beat at this price. It ends dry and long with lingering sweet fruit and a bit of oak.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.
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