I am a couple of days late celebrating #GrenacheDay around the World. It’s always been one of my favorite Grape Varieties but I personally love the expression of this grape from very old vines in the High Altitude Areas of Northeastern Spain where they refer to the grape as Garnacha!
Where Is This Region Calatayud and Zaragoza?
Calatayud is a municipality in the Province of Zaragoza, within Aragón, Spain, lying on the river Jalón, in the midst of the Sistema, Ibérico mountain range. It is the second-largest town in the province after the capital, Zaragoza, and the largest town in Aragón other than the three provincial capitals. It is high up in the mountains northeast of Madrid near Campo De Borja. The most widely planted grape in the area…of course GARNACHA.
Bodegas y Vinedos Del Jalon
Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón S.A. was founded in 1999 by the joining of three bodegas within the Denominación de Origen Calatayud and with the participation of the Government of Aragón, They have over 650 Hectares of Vineyards and that constitutes around of 20% of the Denominación de Calatayud. High Altitude, the River Jalon, Mountain Ranges and OLD VINE FRUIT. What more could a Winemaker ask for???
2011 Las Pizarras Del Jalon, Garnacha
Lets talk about the wine. One last reminder that all of my wines reviewed on the blog are opened 2 hours in advance and tested over a 2-3 hour period at a temperature of 68 Degrees for most Red Wines. The 2009 Received a 91 Point Rating from The Wine Advocate. The 2011 has not been scored yet but we will do that now. As I mentioned in previous posts my personal palate has been leaning towards wines with minimal or no OAK as I can taste the wine without any interference from the oak nuances except the air as the wine breathes. The grapes used for this wine are from vines that are 60-80 years old. It is 100% Garnacha (Happy Belated Grenache Day) and aged in Stainless Steel with no oak at all. 14% ABV which is normal for Old Vine Fruit like this.
The color as you can see not using a filter on my camera is about as dark purple as possible. After years of blind tasting I have always been able to identify Old Vines Garnacha From Spain when I get strong aromas of Baked Strawberries dusted with Cinnamon. This did not disappoint. Also picked up some Asian Spices like Chinese Five Spice, Black Dark Currant almost Cassis and Orange Zest mixed with floral notes.
On The Palate
On the palate we get a rich, mouth-feel of black cherry, blackberry, dark plum, black licorice or anise ,a spicy and lengthy finish but not black pepper more baking spice and a little bit of that lead pencil. Lots of minerals and a nice tannic grip but yet not overly dry.
Yes or No Buy??
This vintage to me was a not a 90 point or higher but a solid 87-88 Point wine if I were scoring on a 100 Point System. I think this type of Old Vines, No Oak, Mountain Fruit from such a great area of the world for a retail cost at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits of $13.99 makes this a YES and A BUY if my description meets your palate. Compared to any of the Campo De Borja Wines from Bodegas Borsao like Tres Picos which I love, this one is more restrained, had more finesse and less of that Big Jammy Fruit Style Of Garnacha. I had it with some aged Manchego and it worked well . Spanish Wine with Spanish Cheese. If you think of Grenache from Southern Rhone in France or Languedoc only, you need to try an Old Vines Garnacha from Calatayud. It is a whole different animal !!
Grape-fully yours, Larry