Wednesday, November 16, 2016

  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Celebrating #GarnachaDay



Celebrating #GarnachaDay
International Grenache Day is celebrated around the world every 3rd Friday of September. This year, the celebration fell on and I was invited to an exclusive tasting of a few spectacular Grenache (or Garnatxa as they say in Spain) wines at Archive 909 on Dundas Street West in downtown Toronto.

The origins of Grenache are found in Aragon, in northern Spain and the grape was known as the Red of Aragon (Tinto Aragonés). From there, it spread to Sardinia, Southern France, Australia and California. Over centuries, naturally occurring Grenache mutations formed, resulting in the prevalence of Grenache blanc, a grapes that's used in making white wines.

Today, Grenache is one of most widely planted grapes in the world, with Spain being the #1 grower. Single varietals wines made from Grenache noir are plenty, but it's also commonly used in GSM blends (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre/Mataro) from Southern France and Australia.

On this day in , I had the opportunity to taste through various Grenache wines, including some Garnatxa blanc wines, and pairing them with some delicious Mediterranean tapas prepared by the fine folks at Archive 909. All of the wines were from Spain, and wine reviews of my favourite Garnacha wines are provided below. Unfortunately, none of the my favourite wines are currently available at the LCBO, so you'll have to reach out to the Agent to place your order.

If you missed celebrating #GrenacheDay this year, mark you calendar as it will return in 2017 on . In the meantime, you can drink Grenache throughout year as its quite commonly found at the LCBO. Salud!

#GarnachaDay at Archive 909#GarnachaDay at Archive 909

Tasting Notes:

BOTERA VILA-CLOSA GARNATXA BLANCA 2015 - DO Terra Alta, Spain (XD) - $16.02
Medium+ intensity nose offering plenty of mineral character combined with lemon, stone fruit and pear aromas. The palate has nicely balanced aroma replays with earthy and some flinty notes making a statement on the long finish. Fresh and succulent acids. Contact That's Life Gourmet for availability. Score: 88+ pts

Botera Vila-Closa Garnatxa Blanca 2015 - DO Terra Alta, Spain (88+ pts)Lafou Els Amelers Garnatxa Blanca 2015 - DO Terra Alta, Spain (89 pts)

LAFOU ELS AMELERS GARNATXA BLANCA 2015 - DO Terra Alta, Spain (XD) ~ $29
10% of this exotic wine rested in 300-litre lightly toasted barrels. The medium intensity nose has exotic waxy, honey and tropical nuances. Lemony acids are fresh with a nice mineral texture on the palate. Some herbally flavours. Finish length is very good. Score: 89 pts

LAS ROCAS VINAS VIEJAS DE SAN ALEJANDRO OLD VINE GARNACHA 2013 - DO Catalayud, Spain (XD) - ??
From vines between 80-100 years old, this has medium+ intensity aromas of cranberry, oak spice, and red & purple florals that all make an appearance on the medium+ bodied palate. It has nicely integrated tannins, balanced and juicy acids. Long finishing. Score: 88+ pts

Las Rocas Vinas Viejas de San Alejandro Old Vine Garnacha 2013 - DO Catalayud, Spain (88+ pts)Cruz de Piedra Selección Especial 2014 - DO Catalayud, Spain (89 pts)

CRUZ DE PIEDRA SELECCIÓN ESPECIAL 2014 - DO Catalayud, Spain (XD) - $12
Grapes for this wine come from old bush vines, ranging between 50-100 years old. Appears closed for the moment, but shows hints of blackberry, mineral, dark fruits, sweet oak spices. Full-bodied with a dense, concentrated mouthfeel and pleasing aroma replays. It has fresh, balanced acids that are just a touch tart. Excellent length on the finish. This is a big wine that can be decanted and enjoyed now, or aged for at least half dozen years. Contact Rogers & Company for availability. Score: 89 pts

BODEGAS ARAGONESAS FAGUS DE COTO DE HAYAS SELECCIÓN ESPECIAL 2013 - DO Campo de Borja, Spain (XD) - $29.95
From old vines ranging between 40-50 years old. Lovely, captivating nose offers complex raspberry, leafy, floral, clove and hints of mineral. Medium+ bodied on the palate with astringent tannins that softened with air. Very nice, well balanced, floral and cherry, clove, subtle sweet oak spice flavours. Balanced use of oak with hints of vanilla on the medium-long finish. My favourite wine of the tasting. Contact Hobbs & Co. for availability. Score: 89 pts

Bodegas Aragonesas Fagus de Coto de Hayas Selección Especial 2013 - DO Campo de Borja, Spain (90 pts)


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