Garnacha under $15

Seeing what $10 buys you when it comes to Garnacha

80% Garnacha, 20% Carignan
Inky and mineral scented on the nose with a nice base of leathery dried strawberry fruit flecked with  white pepper and a  bit of a grilled meaty base note. A little sweet on entry, though with enough acid to help keep this fresh in the mouth. The texture is lovely, soft and clear in the mouth with some attractive inky and mineral notes that recall the nose. there’s plenty of wild berry fruit here, though this is not a particularly fruity wine, turning a touch stern and hard on the back end.  It’s a bit spicy on the modest finish and shows some slightly austere tannins that linger in the mouth. The touch of sugar is probably well considered in light of the structure, if a bit incongruous. I want to like this more, it’s structured and shows interesting savory character to the fruit, but the sweetness is out of character. Still this should prove quite popular. 85pts
Quite floral on the nose with slight jammy raspberry fruit and a bit of a sweet carob note, slightly caramel cast to the aromas. Shows a hint of VA. Light and fresh on entry, then firming up nicely in the mouth, this is wide open and easygoing on the palate with enough acid to keep this nicely juicy. A touch medicinal, mineral and very polleny with a note of ginseng in the mouth, some furry little tannins show up on the backend and add a little edginess to the moderately long, fresh finish. A bit grapey and rustic, this is delicious though it could use a nice grilled rack of lamb ribs to help balance out some of the structure.  85pts
Fruity and exuberant on the nose, this is filled with strawberry and red licorice fruit along with hints of slate and a little polleny floral note. A bit simple in the mouth, with tart acids accentuating the strawberry and blueberry flavors in the mouth. A pretty small scaled and focused garnacha, this is very grapy and friendly and easy going. The tannins show  up on the modest finish, along with a hint of minerality but overall this is just a fun, slightly rustic, honest feeling if slightly fruit forward wine that shows enough structure to pair well with a broad array of dishes. Try it with roast chicken. 85pts
Jammy strawberries with a little smoke and tar greet the nose along with hints of candy cane mintiness and some dried bay leaf. This is a fairly large scaled wine, though not super dense or chewy. the alcohol is noticeable in the mouth from front to back lending this a bit of a liquory profile in the mouth though the fruit is nicely red tinged all strawberries and raspberries. The tannins are very soft making this easy to drink, and while the alcohol is noticeable on the finish it doesn’t stick out as much as one might expect. A bit unremarkable in the mouth with jammy fruit on the modest finish, this smells a bit better than it tastes. 84pts
A bit reticent on the nose with some pencil shavings lurking under candied cherry fruit with a hint of violet adding some detail. Shows a bit of shoe polish as well. Very smooth and polished in the mouth with modest fine grained tannins and slightly zesty acids helping to frame low key and simple grapey, black cherry, mulberry accented fruit. Smooth and with decent length, this is simple, clean and easy to drink, picking up a hint of licorice on the backend and showing a touch of heat on the finish. 83pts
Licorice, violets,  and plummy fruit come together on the nose with a touch of strawberry jam adding some detail. There’s plenty of acid here that doesn’t feel natural in the mouth. This is tart and then round with jammy strawberry fruit and powdery tannins. Raw and rustic in the mouth, this tastes industrial and harsh. Extracted tannins grab the gums on the brief finish which is a bit hot. 70pts

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Top Value Garnacha Tasted 3/14

Las Pizarras del Jalon Garnacha Vinas Viejas (2008)
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Herencia Altes Garnatxa Negra Terra Alta (2012)
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Ateca Honoro Vera Garnacha (2011)
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Evodia Old Vine Grenache (2012)
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Artazuri Garnacha Navarra Rosado (2012)
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Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica Old Vines (2010)
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Mentioned in this article


  • When you wrote in your preview about the state of Borsao, I fully expected the bottle to be the Tres Picos. While it doesn't list in the under $15 range, it can be found for that on sale. My experience with Tres Picos is very good, and I was wondering if you have had any tasting of it. It wasn't included in yesterday's column regarding some higher priced Garnachas.

    Mar 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

  • Snooth User: Mroe
    1481721 24

    I am I subscribing because of "pencil eraser" and "road tar."You have got to be kidding me! Who are you trying to impress?

    Mar 25, 2014 at 8:58 PM

  • Snooth User: Mroe
    1481721 24

    I meant unsubscribing.

    Mar 25, 2014 at 8:59 PM

  • Absolutely valid aroma descriptors, Mroe...never smelled your pencil eraser in class or experienced road resurfacing during the summer? There are many compounds in foods that are shared, thus creating associative terms which link our palates. Attempting to relay flavors and smells via writing is not verbage, or ego impression, it's just logical. Get a grip.

    Mar 25, 2014 at 10:57 PM

  • Snooth User: dbiester
    510991 30

    Still a big fan of de fuego, also like the Mas Donis very much, to me it drinks like a youngish but hot Bordeaux and is just ridiculous for the price.

    Mar 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM

  • Personally enjoy El Jamon Granacha, an exclusive @ Belmont Beverages in Northern Indiana ... At $7.00/bottle it delivers a wonderful representation of this great varietal

    Mar 29, 2014 at 11:41 AM

  • Snooth User: goyo626
    580595 12

    You wrote "...Wine that would appeal to wine geeks and novice alike..." Can you say more about these two characterizations? Im loving Grenache from Spain and California too. Thanks for these recommendations.

    Mar 30, 2014 at 6:17 PM

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