Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Big Spanish Garnacha Wine Delivers Value

A virtual tasting event featuring Garnacha wines from Spain hit Twitter recently, with the hashtag #LoveGarnacha serving as a good way to look up the stream. Several Garnacha fans chimed in during the hour, which was moderated ably by @canterburywine. She was full of fun facts, including the info that the earliest known mention of Garnacha was in 1513. Of course, "Garnacha is grown throughout the Mediterranean," she noted, "but it is originally from Aragon in NE Spain."

The wines tasted during the event were Celler Batea Vall Major Terra Alta Garnacha BlancaCare Finca Bancales ReservaCruz De Piedra Selección EspecialPdm Moncayo Garnacha and Marin Old Vine Garnacha@chasingthevine noted that "the wines have an earthy, savory quality that is so different from the fruit-bright purity of California Grenache," which is a great reason to have a Master of Wine candidate in the group.

Pagos del Moncayo Garnacha 2013

This 2013 PdM Garnacha comes from the La Marga Vineyards in Campo de Borja. The wine's great mouthfeel was noted on Twitter by @writeforwine: "Love the mouthfeel of the Moncayo! Bold, rich, think steak, pasta with tomato sauce, savoury stew." Thanks, now I can’t think of anything else!

Located in the Aragon region of Spain, Campo de Borja, in the foothills of the Sierra del Moncayo, Pagos del Moncayo relies upon traditional techniques in winemaking. The grapes - from their estate vineyards - are crushed by foot, then subjected to a more modern crush after vinification has begun.

The '13 PdM Garnacha is a 100% varietal wine, aged for ten months in American oak barrels. Alcohol comes in at 14.5% abv and the retail price is $23.

This Garnacha is brawny and very dark in the glass, with a nose exhibiting blackberry, blueberry and spice galore - allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg are predominant. The palate is fruit forward, with dark berries, sage, thyme, and tons of savory spice showing. Great tannins and a super acidity lend to food pairing.

The wine is great with anything made of meat or tomato sauce dishes. It goes well with prime rib, but lasagna and sausage pasta dishes pair with it as well.

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