From €6.95, £7.50, Au$18, Ca$19.95, 150 Norwegian Krone
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It's an ill wind that blows no good. It seems as though the current fashion for indigenous grape varieties and a diminished interest in international varieties is working in favour of penny-conscious wine enthusiasts if two Spanish red-wine bargains to have come my way recently are anything to go by.
Chez Jascots I came across Solano Vino Tinto 2011 Spain that they sell for just £6.30 per single bottle. It's a delicious unoaked blend of Syrah, Garnacha, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon that is so cheap because the makers aren't especially interested in something without obvious local roots.
The reason Jiménez-Landi, Bajondillo 2011 Méntrida is so inexpensive is the same. I have written about this excellent producer south west of Madrid before. They made this wine of the week back in January 2009. I came across this organically grown Bajondilla blend at the Dirty Dozen tasting in September. It's round, fruity, mouthfilling and each mouthful lasts for ages. The only reason it's as cheap as it is is because Bajondillo has become a repository for Jiménez-Landi's international varieties and they don't like international varieties! Indeed, I can't even find any mention of this wine on their website*.
For the background to the wine, Syrah with much older Garnacha, see this PDF.
But at least the wine is well distributed. According to wine-searcher.com, it's available in Germany, Belgium, the UK, Australia, Canada and Norway.
UK stockists include The Wine Society, Wine Therapy, Isle of Wight; DVine Wine Cellars, Clapham; Butlers Wine Cellar, Brighton; Bottle Apostle, London N8 and E9; Albertine, London W12; The Vineking, Reigate and Weybridge; Quaff, Hove; The Good Wine Shop, Kew; Life's a Bottle, Maltby Street Market; Handford's, London SW7; Bambuni, Nunhead; The Wapping Victualler; Hanging Ditch, Manchester; Grape and Grind, Bristol.
It's also available in the following London restaurants and wine bars: Pizarro, Chez Bruce, Moro, Rosita and, I'm told by importers Indigo, my son's restaurant The Quality Chop House which I really didn't know. That boy seems to be going his own way nowadays.
I make no apology for making yet another Spanish red my wine of the week. As you'll see from my selection of top 25 reds tomorrow, Spain is the source of so much great value, at all price levels.
* Olly Bartlett of UK importers Indigo Wine, who have in their portfolio so many great Spanish wines off the beaten track, explains: 'It is not on their website as it is a wine they do solely for export. Dani's parents have some vineyards just outside Mentrida where the bodega is, planted with Tempranillo, some Cabernet, Merlot etc that they planted when such things were seen as a good idea! Dani when he was a very young proto-winemaker had a bit of a thing for Syrah as well and planted some. So Bajondillo is kind of a way of using this up and making a great little wine that opens doors for the main love of his life, his amazing Garnachas from the mountains. I think he uses it to season his barrels as well, as he uses only old oak for his Garnachas.'
Et voilà, as they say where I am in the southern Rhône, land of Garnacha.
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