One such wine-bearing friend met my wife at Wood Ranch and sent her home with a bottle for me; how thoughtful! Produced by the Bodegas San Valero cooperative, Monte Ducay Reserva 2009 comes in a very nice looking paper wrapper over an unlabeled bottle. The wrapper gives the wine a very high-end look. However, knowing how the times are these days, I didn't expect that this gift was very expensive.
In the same manner one does not look a gift horse in the mouth, neither does one look a gift wine in the shelf talker. Well, maybe just a peek. It sells for under $10. At that price, it's a pretty fair value, too.
The red Cariñena wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Garnacha. Cariñena is a DO - Denominación de Origen - in the center of Spain's Aragon region. Alcohol is quite reasonable at 13% abv and the bottle is closed under a natural cork.
The color is a very dark ruby, with light barely able to get through the glass. A nose of dark berries, black cherry and cola provide a little more depth than I expect. The palate is deep and luxurious, with dark fruit and notes that give away the presence of the Cab - cassis and graphite. There is just a wisp of an herbal flavor lagging behind the fruit, a bit like sage and nutmeg. This wine offers great value for a bargain shopper who wants some complexity with their deal.
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