Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Garnacha Gone Wrong

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 covered everything from Garnacha Blanca to Garnacha Gris to Garnacha Noir. "There’s 1 other type of Garnacha," she tweeted, "Garnacha Peluda, whose leaves have furry undersides." I wouldn’t think of holding that against them. She was full of fun facts, including the factoid 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."

Care wines are produced by Bodegas Añadas in Careñena - one of Spain’s oldest wine regions. Care underlines the age aspect with its very name - it is the old Roman name for the region.  Of Care’s four estates, Bancales is one of the largest. The estate vineyards are located at altitudes of over 1,600 feet and the stony soil is beaten by the Cierzo, a constant cold, dry wind from the north which exacerbates the dry climate. The vines from which these grapes were taken are 90 years old.

This Care Finca Bancales Reserva 2010 was fermented in steel, then aged in French oak barrels for 14 months, with another 17 months aging in the bottle. 14.5% abv.  The retail price is $20.

Aromas of black plum are a little muted - the savory spice nearly overpowers them. There’s a bit of oak - cedar, vanilla, tobacco - and bit of licorice twist and pepper on the nose. The palate is somewhat unforgiving, with rather jagged tannins and a disjointed feel. Flavors are dark and juicy, but they fall flat and finish tart.

@dvinewinetimewould noted a favorite pairing for the wine: chestnut stuffing topped w/ duck confit. That sounds like it would work despite the wine's less-than-glowing attributes.


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