2009 Retorno Garnacha

p20120530-163405The 2009 Retorno (translates to repay or return) Garnacha is sourced from old vine vineyards (60+ years old) located in the Calatayud D.O. of the Province of Zaragoza in the Aragon region of Spain. The Retorno is designated as a “young” wine in Spain indicating that it receives little or no oak barrel aging, this one has no oak aging. These are the everyday wines of Spain and at $7.99 can easily be an everyday wine here. Garnacha/Grenache is a very popular grape in Spain and in the Rhone Valley in France, but is but is largely ignored by California wine producers. As a result, the demand for Garnacha is not as strong as the Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc., and very good Garnacha based wines tend to be affordably priced. The alcohol content is 15.5%, which is fairly heavy for a Garnacha.

The color is very, very purple. The nose is bright red fruit, cherry, raspberry, strawberry, along with a hint of burning autumn leaves and licorice. This is soft and smooth wine, with a velvety mouthfeel. It tastes of fresh picked  black cherries, a touch of cocoa powder, black Twizzlers and little sour cherry Jolly Rancher candy. The mid palate brings an odd dash of minerality, like you just licked a piece of slate and a splash of POM wonderful juice. The tannins are very soft, you don’t notice that they are there, but there is a good dose of acidity running thru the body of the wine. The high alcohol content gives this wine an Australian Shiraz feel. The finish is vigorous and lasts a respectable amount of time.

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The Retorno Garnacha is a solid, well priced bottle of wine. I like the Garnacha/Grenache grape it has this silky, velvety, juicy thing going on, wine writer Oz Clarke once said if you want to add sex to a Red wine, shove some Garnacha into the blend. Garnacha feels as good as it tastes (when done right) and not that many grapes have that attribute on their resume.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.

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