You know, I just don't drink enough Spanish wines. I know they are having loads of troubles over there, so I figured they make wonderful wines and I should help out by buying a bottle or two! In this case, it's the 2011 Honoro Vera Garnacha, which is the Spanish version of Grenache, a grape from the south of France that I've taken quite a fancy to in recent months. This wine comes from the city of Calatayud, which lies just to the southwest of the French border in the Sistema Iberico mountain range, roughly equidistant from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.
The wine itself is a very deep purple color in the glass, trending to more ruby color along the edges. The nose is a very pleasant combination of sweet fruit scents with a combination of strawberries, sweet cherries and plums with just the faintest hint of cedar and spices. The first taste brings some surprising smokiness and gravel which are enveloped by the fruit flavors, which present themselves as very jammy at first, flavors of ripe cherries and blueberries, which transition to rich plums laced with exotic spices that seem almost Oriental. The young tannins are surprisingly well integrated leading to a lovely smooth finish.
Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5 as it's really a lovely, fruit forward example of the varietal that makes it wonderfully food friendly, plus it was a great value at only $8! Tonight I am pairing it with some tortilla crusted tilapia, a variety of fingerling potatoes and some steamed asparagus, and I really love the way the fruit in the wine plays off the spice of the fish, very lively! So try a lovely Spanish red wine if you have the opportunity!