La Paca Garnacha 2014

Ever buy a bottle of wine just because you liked the label?  I must confess that is exactly what happened here.  While I’m not saying that doing so is a completely justifiable method of choosing one’s wine, it can lead to interesting surprises.  But … I had previously tried the Altovinum Evodia and Tres Ojos Garnachas both from the Calatayud wine region.  So, like, I had an idea of what I might be getting my taste buds into.  And the label art was just so cool!

Oenophilogical_LaPacaGarnacha2014Winemaker: La Paca
Varietal: Garnacha
Vintage: 2014
Appellation: Calatayud DO, Spain
Price: $6.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes: This Garnacha presented pleasant flavors of dark cherry and plum with copious amounts of pepper.  Acidity was high, tannins were low, and alcohol was at 14.5%.

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Tres Ojos Garnacha 2011

Peck_TresOjosGarnacha2011I grabbed this nice Spanish red just the other day from the “gettin’ place” as my parents used to say.  Glad I did.

Winemaker: Tres Ojos by Bodega San Gregorio
Varietal: Garnacha
Vintage: 2011
Appellation: Calatayud, Spain DDO
Price: $7.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  This wine is made from 100% Garnacha grapes.  In the glass it is very purple: deep, dark and rich to look at.    I caught a light bouquet of berries, with a hint of earthiness and bread.  On first opening it was almost effervescent on the tongue.  That leads me to believe the acidity is high, but definitely not too high in my opinion.  On the palate I found lots of dark raspberry and spice notes such as sweet cinnamon.  It brought to mind a berry muffin – more berry than muffin.   I also found pepper and a light hint of licorice.  Modest to moderate tannins bring a tad of eucalyptus to the lingering finish.  Alcohol is at 14.5%.  For me, it was a very pleasant wine.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

Altovinum Evodia 2011

I grabbed this Garnacha at a store near where I work.  The name of the store is Wine & Liquor.  Seriously, that’s it!  Just “Wine & Liquor.”  Much to my happy surprise it has a very large and diverse selection of wines.  Nice!

Winemaker: Altovinum Evodia (Eric Solomon Selections)
Wine: Garnacha Old Vines
Vintage: 2011
Appellation: Calatayud, Spain DDO
Price: $9.25

Notes:  Another first – my first experience with a wine made from 100% Garnacha (Grenache) grapes.  The grapes for this selection were grown near the village of Atea in the Iberian System of mountains in northeast Spain.  This light-bodied red wine was dark purple in the glass with blackberry and earthiness on the nose.  Primary flavors for me were dark cherry and blackberry with pepper notes.  There was also a fairly present bitter flavor I would describe as lichen.  Of course, I’ve never eaten lichen, so that isn’t the best comparison.  Still, it’s what I imagine lichen tasting like – a bit of chlorophyll, a bit of earthiness and an acrid bite.  No doubt that is partially due to the moderate tannins present.  Alcohol is 15%.  Acidity is OK.

In case you’re wondering why I’ve been having so many “firsts” of late, I’m going to post something soon explaining a little more of my journey on the Via Vino to date.  Not a life history, mind you.  Don’t worry!

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.