Bielsa 2011 Campo de Borja Garnacha

I was very intrigued last week when I came across a naturally made wine from the Campo de Borja region of Spain.  I had only tried conventionally made wines from the region in the past and was not aware of any producers straying from the norm. Bielsa is doing things a bit differently and their 2011 Garnacha is organically grown from 45+ year-old vines.  It is unfiltered, unoaked, and has 13.5% alcohol.

Bielsa 2011 Campo de Borja Garnacha
Bielsa 2011 Campo de Borja Garnacha

Tasting Notes

Very seductive nose with intense, smokey aromas.  The smokiness continues on the palate along with rich tastes of strawberry, licorice, plum, and spice.  As you continue to sip, hints of minerals also begin to show.  A delicious wine that drinks way beyond its price point! ($12)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with pulled pork sandwiches, smoked ribs, or mushroom quesadillas.

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Mini-Review – 2010 Espelt Garnacha “Old Vines”

I picked up this wine from importer Eric Solomon because I really enjoyed one of his French wines a few weeks ago.  The wine, 100 % Garnacha, is biodynamically farmed from 91-year-old vines in Spain.

This tasty wine offers aromas of earth, raspberries, and currants.  The palate is rich and full of flavor.  There are tastes of raspberries, black cherries, rosemary, and anise with healthy acidity.  Intense and multidimensional, this is a great wine to pair with manchego cheese or lamb. (B+, $12)

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Mini-Review – 2010 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena

As I was perusing the wine aisles of Whole Foods for a few bottles of wine, I reached for a bottle of 2010 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena.  I was intrigued by the low price point and wanted to see if the bottle delivered a nice value because good, inexpensive wines are sometimes hard to find at Whole Foods.

2010 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena has aromas of tobacco, plum, and cherries.  The palate is smooth with flavors of berries, cherries, and a hint of spice.  Simple, clean flavors that are easy to sip with casual fare (think pizza or sirloin).  A decent wine for a very fair price! (B, $8, 12.5%)

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Mini-Review – Herencia Altés 2011 Garnacha Negra

Want a rich, delicious wine that will satisfy your palate and your wallet?  If so, you may want to read on!  Herencia Altés 2011 Garnacha Negra is 100% Garnacha from the Terra Alta region of Spain.  Although it is young, it is totally approachable and ready to be sipped. 

This dark garnet, mouth-staining wine has aromas of red cherries, cocoa, and minerals.  The palate is juicy and rich.  There are indulgent, sweet tastes of red berries, cherries, anise, and pepper with silky tannins.  A terrific value and a very tasty wine!  Pair with grilled meats or dark chocolate. (B+, $12, 14%)

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Mini-Review- 2009 El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa Old Vine Garnacha

I have been on a roll with finding delicious, well-priced bottles of Garnacha lately and uncorking a bottle of El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa Old Vine Garnacha was no exception to my recent successes.  This Garnacha comes from the Navarra region of Spain and the producer is known for making great Spanish wines at affordable, everyday drinking prices. 

The wine pours a bright ruby in the glass.  Decanting for around an hour definitely lets the aromas and flavors open up.  The nose has scents of raspberry, strawberry, and dark chocolate. At first sip, you get full flavors of dark cherry, raspberry, and blackberry.  Lively acidity invigorates your mouth as tastes of dark chocolate and black pepper develop.  A really dynamic Garnacha for the price! Pair with carnitas tortas. (B+, 14% alcohol, $12)

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Smooth, Suave, and Sexy- Coto De Hayas 2009 Garnacha Centenaria

If you know me at all, you know one of my favorite varietals is Grenache/Garnacha.  And not the whimper versions…give me rich, dark fruit with a lot of personality and I will be a happy camper.  I don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for a good bottle but I am always excited when I find one that is well priced.  Last week, I was at Hi-Time Wine Cellars chatting with one of their staff members about good Garnacha and she pulled out a bottle that she thought offered a lot of value for the price.  She was right on…

About the Wine- From the Winery

2009 Garnacha Centenaria is 100% Grenache from the Catalunya region of Spain.  It has 14% alcohol and retails for around $14.  For more information visit the importer at www.antalava.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

This Garnacha is a deep garnet in the glass.  The nose is rich with intense aromas of blackberries, plum, and spices.  On the palate, it is bursting with personality.  Full bodied with round tannins, dark berries, and dark chocolate.  Give it an hour in the decanter and it really opens up.  The wine finishes with spicy black pepper and hints of dark chocolate.  Smooth, suave, and sexy…this is a Garnacha I will be drinking again!

My Wine Rating- A-

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair with chicken shawarma, braised lamb, or tamarind spiced ribs.

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A Rich and Delicious Spanish Wine- Evodia Old Vines Garnacha 2010

One of my ongoing “wine crushes” is with Garnacha.  This past week, while I was perusing the wine selection at World Market, I grabbed a bottle of Evodia Old Vines Garnacha.  Garnacha (or Grenache) is a late ripening grape so it does well in warm, dry regions, such as the Calatayud region of Spain, where Evodia’s Garnacha hails from.  At first sip I realized that this wine is a steal for under $10.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Evodia Old Vines Garnacha is 100% Garnacha from Spain.  It has 15% alcohol and retails for $8-10.  For more information visit the importer’s website at www.europeancellars.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Evodia pours a deep ruby in the glass.  The nose is intriguing with aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, and coffee with mineral undertones. The wine is incredibly smooth and rich. The palate is bursting with dark berries and finishes with a hint of spice.  An incredible find for the price.  Grab a case and drink regularly!

My Wine Rating- A-

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wines pairs amazingly with dark chocolate.  It also is a nice match with duck or a meat stew.

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A Dangerously Easy to Drink Garnacha from Las Rocas

I was just having a Twitter conversation the other day about how much I love Grenache (or Garnacha in Spain where this wine hails from).  I haven’t been let down by too many bottles and I have tried plenty.  Las Rocas is another great Garnacha that reinforces my love for the varietal and definitely fits a mid-week wine budget.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Los Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha is from the Calatayud region of Spain.  It has 14.1% alcohol and retails for $10-12.  It can be found at a variety of wine retailers, including Whole Foods (where I purchased it from).  For more information see www.lasrocaswine.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Las Rocas Garnacha pours a dark garnet in the glass.  Its captivating nose has aromas of smokey, dark berries and spice.  The palate is smooth with tastes of lush, dark fruit and smoke followed by a long, mildly spicy finish.  The wine is simple and dangerously easy to drink.  A great bottle that you will have no problem finishing!

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- This Garnacha pairs well with dark chocolate, a burger with grilled mushrooms, or smokey cheese and steak quesadillas.

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