Sunday, March 1, 2009

Red Guitar Tempranillo-Garnacha, 2006 (under $12)

Navarra, Spain

A friend gave me this bottle as a gift and I wasn't sure what to expect.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised and really liked it!  I would recommend this wine for those that primarily drink whites and interested in venturing to the "red" side.  For those of you new to different varietals (grapes), Garnacha is the same as Grenache. It's most notable in French Southern Rhone blends such as Chateauneuf du Pape and Cotes du Rhône.  (some of my favorite wines when I have the $$$)  Although the French have benefited from the Grenache success it's origin is from Spain.  Tempranillo on the other hand is a primary red wine grape for much of Spain.

Enough with the varietal lesson...although I hope it helped some of you.  The aromas from this wine are not overpowering and have hints of leather, dried fruit and a slight rustic sense.  With a medium-light body feel on the tongue, flavors of Raspberry and Black Cherry come together to form a slightly sweet, fruit forward and very drinkable wine.  The finish has a moderate smoky and spicy vanilla hint, probably due to the oak barrel fermenting.  The tannins are hardly noticeable therefore supporting my recommendation for those white wine drinkers to try.

I first enjoyed this wine with grilled Halibut and hoisin glaze. My next meal/wine parring was with a grilled aged NY strip that when traveling, I get from OCHS Prime Meats in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.  The wine worked great with both meals although I'm sure would pair well with other grilled entrees such as pork and lamb.  Red Blends have been my favorite for a few years now.  I think the art of the winemaker blending certain varietals into a creation for us to enjoy is amazing.  This blend is 55% Tempranillo and 45% Garnacha.

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