The Abancay Mascara Del Sol (translation: Mask of the sun) 70% Tempranillo & 30% Merlot Crianza is sourced from Bodega Abancay Estate vineyards in the Carinena DO of the Aragon Province in Northeast Spain. Crianza is a legal wine term in Spain indicating that the wine was aged for a minimum of 2 years, with at least 6 months in oak barrels, the remaining time is bottle aging. The Abancay was aged for 12 months in American oak barrels, then aged another year in the bottle. The Abancay is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive, a pretty good price for an Estate wine that was aged for 2 years. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is very, very dark purple. The nose is dark berries, cinnamon spice and oaky vanilla. This wine has dark fruit, oak and tannins upfront and is soft and smooth on the backend. It starts with blueberry, cassis, a slightly rough sensation from the oak barrels, curry spice and creamy vanilla. The mid palate changes directions with sweet strawberry and tart currants. The finish is sweet fruit along with a dry sensation from the oak. I don’t think the wine is necessarily over-oaked, but oak components are very much a part of the flavor profile. The finish starts off strong, but fades a little too quickly.
Even though the Abancay Tempranillo Merlot Crianza 2009 wasn’t perfect, I still like it. With most sub $10 wines all the edges have been removed, it is as if tannins and oak are not a regular part of wine. The Abancay shows its tannins, the Abancay shows its oak, they are a feature of wine that should be experienced, maybe with a bit more balance than here, but at least they are there. With that said, the Abancay Tempranillo/Merlot is a decent bottle of Spanish Red wine, well worth the $6.99 price tag.