I'm a big sucker for Spanish wines, and when I'm perusing a restaurant wine list, I often find myself flipping past the Pinot Noirs and Merlots in the hopes of finding a nice Tempranillo or Rioja. Last night at JRDN Restaurant I tried a great Spanish red wine that I couldn't wait to share with you: the 2007 Atteca Old Vines.
This is a Garnacha, or as we Americans call it, a Grenache. The Grenache grape is one of the most planted wine grapes in the world. It produces wines that are deep in fruit and spice flavors, yet easy-drinking. It is most often seen in blends, such as Syrahs and almost all wines from the Rhone region. It's also often blended with whites to make Rose. So I was excited to taste this pure Granacha and see how these usually second-fiddle grapes would stand up to scrutiny all alone.
The 2007 Atteca Old Vines is made from 80 to 120 year-old vines and aged for 10 months in seasoned French oak barrels. It has a full fruity flavor highly redolent of blackberries, but fell short of being jammy, a quality I sometimes find cloying in wines. It has subtler flavors of vanilla and smoke. While it was tannic enough to have the full body needed to pair with red meat, its tannins were soft and the wine was light on the palate. This just-rich-enough quality makes it a great summer wine and one ideal for pairing with many different dishes. Try it with pasta dishes, full-flavored fish, or grilled meat.
The 2007 Atteca Old Vines Garnacha is a very decent drinking wine. It's one that would really benefit from some years in the cellar, which would bring out its spice flavors. At about $15 a bottle, it's also a good price. Cheers!