Saturday, September 17, 2016

Spanish Garnacha, A True Wine Bargain by Philip S. Kampe



                                                         Spanish Garnacha

Garnacha is as an important grape as Cabernet Sauvignon. Worldwide, over 550,000 acres are planted. Spain is where I am particularly interested in. Over 175,000acres of Garnacha are planted, mostly in the regions of  Aragon, Priorat and Catalonia.

The characteristics widely associated with the grape are:
1) medium acidity
2) medium tannins
3) alcohol:13-16%
4) rich fruit flavors like candied black cherry, strawberry and raspberry
      5) other flavors on the palate include tobacco, anise, cinnamon and black pepper

What I have learned about the Garnacha grape is that its medium weight and lighter ruby color with aromas of grapefruit, licorice, cherry and candied orange rind give it a recognizable aura when tasted on its own. White Garnacha is another story, but, quite similar in its origin.

Having visited both Priorat and Catalonia, I have learned that the heat in these growing regions creates high sugar and alcohol levels in the wine. Often I have sampled wines that are 16% alcohol.

Claudia Angelillo and her staff at Snooth (www.snooth.com ) sent over several bottles of Garnacha for me to taste and comment at a virtual tasting online with other wine types from all over the country. Unfortunately, my connection failed, while my enthusiasm grew regarding these wines, hence this wine post. Hopefully, next time, if I am granted another opportunity, I will have better internet luck.

The wines that I sampled are all Spanish Garnacha, two whites and three reds.

White Garnacha:

  Red Garnacha




closDalian Garnacha Blanca 2015 Terra Alta ($10)
This was quite an elegant wine with aromatics of white peach, apricots and kiwi. The wine was rich and creamy in the palate, with an extra long and lively finish. It was made with 100% White Garnacha grapes. I could not taste any oak and assume it was made in a stainless steel tank. 12.5% alcohol

La Miranda Secastilla Garnacha Blanca 2013 Aragon ($13)
Aged for four months in French oak, flavors of vanilla, lime and tangerine line the palate with a layer of dry minerality that completes the profile. Green apple and stonefruit aromatics help create this enticing wine. 13.5% alcohol

Red Garnacha
Evodia ‘Old Vine Garnacha’ 2015 Aragon ($11)
This wine is a big spice box, with lots of dark cherry, ginger  and dried fig flavor. Concentrated strawberries with some chalky minerality highlight this ambitious, 15% alcohol wine

Cato de Hayas Garnacha Centenaria 2014  Aragon ($12)
Anise, cinnamon and black licorice on the nose followed by a palate full of smooth, velvety, creamy acidic wine with overtones of black licorice and anise, followed by  a long, tannin free finish. 14% alcohol

Castillo de Monseran Aragon 2014 ($8)
An exceptional wine for its price point of $8 or under. A bit jammy with fruit flavors of cherries, plums, strawberries and raspberries. Definitely a food wine and  a daily , ‘go-to wine.’

My knowledge of Spanish Garnacha has escalated since enjoying this huge variety of wines, mostly from Aragon, the northwest portion of Spain. They certainly are affordable, with money well spent.

Why not take your five wine Spanish Garnacha journey?
The total cost for the five bottles was $54



Philip S. Kampe
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