Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Las Rocas Vinas Viejas Garnacha, 2005

Las Rocas Vinas Viejas, 2005

In Spain, the region of Calatayud is located about 150 miles northeast of Madrid, and is centered near the rivers of Jiloca and Jalon. One of the youngest viticultural regions to attain D.O. status in Spain (1989), Calatayud is comprised of some 8,000 hectares of vines, most of which are planted to red varietals. Although there are only a few wineries in the zone, these are beginning to show why their wines are so special. About fifteen percent of the vineyard land’s production has been bottled at one of Spain’s best and most progressive cooperatives, San Alejandro. With an abundance of amazing raw material, Eric Solomon was able to commission several bottlings of very old vine fruit into what has become one of the most sought-after estates in the portfolio. Unlike the regular Los Rocas (see previous write-up December 3, 2007) that is un-oaked, the Vinas Viejas is aged for 10-12 months in new and one year old oak barrels. This wine is 100% Garnacha from 100 year old vines planted on high altitudes in pure slate soil. The color is a deep purple with black highlights. On the nose there is sweet strawberries, cherries and vanilla. This is a medium to full bodied wine with a rich, velvety mouth feel with nice smoothness and no harsh edges. The rich dark berry flavors are offset with mushroom and cedar box. The tannins and acids are well controlled, but sufficient to allow this to be a great sipper or a compliment to a hardy meal. I recommend seeking out the great value for an excellent Garnacha from Spain. It is available at the Seattle Wine Company for about $15. Outstanding.

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