I had the opportunity to sit down to lunch with Yolanda Diaz, managing director of Bodegas San Alejandro, and taste some or her outstanding Garnacha wines. From the Calatayud region of Spain, we tasted the Las Rocas Garnacha, Garnacha Viñas Viejas (old vine), and the Rosé of Garnacha. With the anticipated dark cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors, all of these wines are excellent and exceptionally drinkable. While I really liked the rosé because it wasn’t the pink, acid bomb typical of many rosés, my favorite had to be the old-vine Garnacha Viñas Viejas. At well under $20, this is a wonderful bottle of garnacha. From 50-year-old vines, the Garnacha Viñas Viejas is very elegant, with great mouthfeel, rich berry flavors, round, supple tannins and a lingering finish. Garnacha (grenache in the U.S.) is a grape that doesn’t get much attention here, but is popular almost everywhere else. If you are at all a red wine drinker, you owe yourself a glass of one of these garnacha wines.
Las Rocas Garnacha Viñas Viejas from Calatayud, Spain
Red Varietal - Garnacha
Notes: A deep ruby color, with a spicy, rich cranberry bouquet. This well-structured wine has dark cherry flavors and elegant hints of oak, with round, supple tannins and a fruit-filled finish.
A Dry Red – Cost: $$ out of $$$$$
Las Rocas Garnacha from Calatayud, Spain
Red Varietal - Garnacha
Notes: A vibrant red color, this Garnacha hints at its rich dark cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors. This well-structured wine integrates nuances of oak with round tannins to deliver a rich palate of decadent fruit flavors.
A Dry Red – Cost: $ out of $$$$$
Las Rocas Rosé of Garnacha from Calatayud, Spain
Rosé Wine - Garnacha
Notes: The lovely rose-petal hue in this rosé hints at the enticing aromas of raspberry and strawberry in this wine. Clean and fruit forward, this rosé is crafted entirely from garnacha grapes grown in the high-altitude vineyards. The extreme conditions in Calatayud translate to bright red fruit flavors that mingle with a hint of spice to create a full-bodied rosé with a long, fruity finish.
A Dry Rosé – Cost: $$ out of $$$$$
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