From €6.40, £7.99, 14 Swiss francs
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I make no apologies for highlighting yet another great Spanish wine. As pointed out in Austerity whites, Spain is the wine world's most exciting source of value today. And, as I have been saying for decades, Garnacha (Grenache) is its undervalued treasure, its most planted grape variety but one that can make great, rich wine that can be enjoyed young. I firmly believe that Spaniards have tended to overvalue their Tempranillo and undervalue their Garnacha - much of which is in the form of venerable bushvines capable of producing concentrated fruit with great character.
Spanish oenologist Raúl Acha agrees with me and this wine is part of a Garnacha-led project he has initiated all over northern Spain.
Garnacha is perhaps the most familiar of the many words that make up the name of this wine, currently on sale at Majestic in the UK for £9.99 full price but £7.99 if two bottles are bought. I love the funky label. But I loved the wine too. It has the richness and sweetness of Garnacha/Grenache but, crucially, has real freshness on the finish. This is not one of those dried-fruit wines made from grapes that lacked juice and acidity; it is a delightful mouthful - and is 'only' 13.5%, which is relatively low for a fully mature example of this grape variety.
This is a wine that says 'fun' to me. Majestic promise us that it is made from 'ancient, wild vines' and that it has 'a Burgundian minerality, with subtle French oak' - quite an achievement! The grapes are grown on the north-facing slopes of the Moncayo in the Ebro Valley in northern Spain, with a high proportion of slate and pebbles, and spent five months in new French oak, apparently - which makes it quite a bargain. Grapes were not picked until the second half of October and were hand harvested.
I'd drink it any time over the next three years, ideally but not necessarily with food. Should you ever be lucky enough to experience barbecue weather, this wine would be perfect for such an event. I type this in London with a woollen scarf keeping my neck warm and a blanket over my knees. Outdoor eating seems rather a pipe dream.
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