The La Peña de España Red 2015 is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s import exclusive, 34% Garnacha, 33% Syrah, and 33% Monastrell sourced from the vineyards of Viveros Cambra in the Valencia DO of eastern Spain. Viveros Cambra has been a vine nursery and vineyard since 1905 and has made their own wines since 2006. In the south of France a blend of the Garnacha (Spain) or Grenache (France), along with Syrah and Monastrell (Spain) or Mourvedre (France, same grape different spelling) would be referred to as a GSM, it is one of the classic blends of the wine world. But this is Valencia, located in central eastern Spain near the Mediterranean Ocean (there is evidence of winemaking here going back thousands of years) and in Valencia, this is simply a Red wine blend. The alcohol content is a ripe 14%.
The color is a dark, barely see-thru, black cherry red. The nose is ripe strawberry, bubblegum, licorice, blackberry, and tea. This is a “fun” wine, bright and spicy, with ripe fruit, but not without some structure. It starts with cherry and raspberry, a little pepper, a shot of spice, and slap of dusty tannins. The mid-palate adds red licorice (not candy sweet) and light herbs. The acidity is well-balanced by the body of the wine, it sips well and would work with food. The finish is dominated by the spice and herbs and slowly fades away.
The La Peña de España Red 2015 is a tasty, well-priced Red blend. If you are more used to drinking California wines, this is a good entry way to Spanish wine. It has the solid fruit flavors typical of California but has the structure and spice of Spain. As for pairing, tacos, fajitas, or burritos are a natural match.