2005 Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache – Calatayud, Spain | VailDaily.com

2005 Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache – Calatayud, Spain

2005 Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache

Spain continues its resurgence to the top of the wine world, with wonderful wines at all prices. Part of the excitement is the leaps in quality in wine from little-known regions, such as Calatayud, in Aragon in northeast Spain. Dry and remote, with steep hillside vineyards, the dramatic swings in temperature lead to big, rich, and dark red wines that still have a bit of balancing acidity. The 2005 Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache, from Bodegas y Vinedos del Jalon, is sourced from 50-year-old-vines. With grenache, like zinfandel, vines over the 30-year mark tend to produce earthy and deep berry flavors, with a streak of iron or graphite on the finish. These vineyards sit at 2,500 feet altitude, so the nights get cool and the grapes get the acidity to cut the fat black cherry flavors. A hint of dark chocolate and sweet tobacco add complexity, and the total package costs around $10 on the shelf!

Bodegas y Vinedos del Jalon is a co-op. Under the guidance of importer Jorge Ordonez, this wine represents an outstanding value. Pair this wine with beef stew, hamburgers, or a cold night. Don’t age this in your cellar, the fruit will recede and the tiny tannins present add a perfect bite right now.

Grenache, or garnacha, is a grape to remember. The backbone of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the darling of the Central Coast in California, and a hidden gem in the Barossa and Clare Valleys in Australia, this grape is still finding its potential in Spain. Jorge Ordonez says, “Garnacha is Spain’s true heart, both historically and production-wise.” Note that he uses the more common ‘grenache’ name on the label, not the traditional Spanish name for the grape. If we see cute animals on Spanish labels in the near future, we will know they have arrived.

– Jarrett Osborn, Special to The Trail

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