Thursday, August 13, 2009

You Say "Garnacha" and I say....

Well, I say "Garnacha" as well when we're drinking Spain, but I suppose I'd usually say Grenache. I guess it doesn't really matter what you call it if you like what you're drinking. And, we've been liking this wine for a number of years now.

151. Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha (DO Calatayud - Spain)

The Bodegas San Alejandro are grape growers that have sold their grapes for years to one of the local cooperatives. Having been producing wine for centuries, it was only a matter of time before the resurgence of global interest in Spanish wine would attract consultants and importers to the region.

The Calatayud is an arid region found in the North-East part of Spain. Garnacha, or Grenache, accounts for 2/3's of the wine production in the area. The aridness of the region helps keeps production yields low which can lead to increased concentration in the wines.

French consultant, Jean-Michel Lafage, and importer, Eric Solomon, were so impressed with the grapes grown on the 70 - 100 year old vines here, they convinced the directors of the cooperative to bottle some of their product under a separate label and Las Rocas was born at the turn of the 21st century.

Since its introduction, this wine has been known for its consistency and it is consistently found on all sorts of "Best of..." and "Best Bargain" lists. Perhaps it's biggest claim to fame was that Robert Parker, the king of taste determination, said that the 2002 vintage "may be the greatest wine value I have ever tasted." Even in the Vancouver market, where a bottle will currently set you back $17, Las Rocas is seen as delivering more bang for your buck than most wines on the market.

Very approachable, with lots of flavour, we'll no doubt keep reaching for a bottle or two as the years go by.

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