The Zestos Old Vine Garnacha is 100% Garnacha (also known as Grenache) sourced from high altitude vineyards located in the San Martin sub region of the Vinos de Madrid (DO) in Central Spain. Old vines in this case means 40 to 50 year old dry farmed (not irrigated, the only water the vines get is rainwater), the older vines and the lack of water force the grapes to develop slowly and fully. This Garnacha is not aged in oak, but in both huge stainless steel and cement vats. Some, if not all the Garnacha grapes used for this bottling were organically grown, though there is no organic certification shown on the label. This is a “drink it now” wine and not one for cellaring. Wine Advocate gave this wine 90 points. The alcohol content is 14%.
The color is a rich, intense ruby red, with blue-black highlights. The nose is dark plums, ripe red berries, cassis and slightly smokey with a touch of black licorice. You take the first sip and Wham, all these different tastes and textures explode on your palate, this Garnacha is not shy. It tastes of ripe and juicy black and blueberries with an undercurrent of raisin spice, plums and raspberries. The mid palate brings an unexpected (especially for a ten buck wine) subtle but firm slap of minerality, tart cranberry and sour cherry. The acidity is very well balanced, you only notice it when all the flavors start to drop off and the finish is full and long.
I think Spanish Garnacha makes a wonderful summer Red wine, rich and full of flavor, but not too heavy and weighed down by tannins and oak. The Zestos Garnacha drinks great, delicious and unusually complex for an inexpensive wine. The Zestos is also versatile, it would pair with anything from a Porterhouse steak to brats on the grill. This is a great bottle of wine for a Garnacha novice, because it hits you with just about everything Garnacha has to offer. Inexpensive wines have improved incredibly in just the last 5 years, there was a time when a $10 bottle this good would have been a sensation. Today, while the quality of the Zestos Old Vine Garnacha does stand out, it is no sore thumb.