Monday, March 21, 2016

Spanish Wine: Old Vine Garnacha

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."

The wines tasted were Celler Batea Terra Alta Vall Major Blanca, Care Finca Bancales Reserva, Cruz De Piedra Selección Especial, Pdm 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.

Marin Old Vine Garnacha

Bodegas Ignacio Marin was founded in Spain’s Cariñena region in 1903. This 2010 wine is Garnacha, "with a touch of Tempranillo," according to the bodega’s website. Grapes were taken from their oldest vines. The wine was aged at least three months in French oak barrels. Retail comes in at $12 and alcohol is quite restrained at 13% abv.

The wine is a dark ruby color, but beginning to show some brick notes on the edge, possibly a sign of its age. On the nose, big cherry aromas are met with violet and a smokey oak spice. The taste gives dark notes of cherry with earthy minerals and a nice grip, but the tannins are not too toothy. In fact, it’s fairly smooth. The finish is medium long.

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