Feeling mean? Looking for a bargain holiday gift? Of course you aren't. But you just might be interested in an absolutely delicious red wine which is currently selling for $5.99 at PJ Wine in New York (www.pjwine.com) and £4.99 from The Winery in London and looks as though it costs at least three times more.
This is super-fruity Grenache/Garnacha which is far from cookie-cutter modern red but even has a certain delicacy. Overall it's quite soft and easy (no oak was involved) but there's a hint of tannin, presumably from the low-yielding, dry vineyards and even a bit of real interest. This is hot, dry country in which the minimum alcohol level required for a wine to be labelled with the denomination Carineña (named after the main town, which lends its name to the Carignan grape) has been lowered from 14 to 12 per cent! It's made by Manuel Piquer Guimerá in Muel, a bodega founded in the 1960s and now, obviously, fully modernised.
Britons can seek this wine out via The Winery, a seriously interesting wine merchant in an old chemist's shop in Clifton Road, London W9 which recently opened a glamorous new store within Liberty of Regent Street, London W1. It's the brainchild of musician David Motion who has a serious case of wine fanaticism and travels widely to source his interesting wines himself (if only more UK wine merchants would do the same). The Winery is one of very few British merchants to specialise in dry German wines, but offers an extremely wide range from virtually all over the world. Its prices are certainly not the lowest but the selection is truly exciting – and the service very friendly.
Lelia is currently imported into the US by Frontier Wine Imports, into Denmark by Peter Freilev and into Germany by Weine Fenske.