The 2011 LaGranja (the Farm) 360 Tempranillo/Garnacha is a revisit, we showcased the 2009 LaGranja 360 back in November of 2010. The LaGranja 360 line of wines sold in America exclusively by Trader Joe’s, $4.99 for the 50% Tempranillo/50% Garnacha, others in the line sell for $3.99. This wine is produced for Axial Vinos, a large Spanish exporter of wine by Cooperative San Nicolas de Tolentino located in the Zaragoza region of the Carinena DO in Northeast Spain. A Cooperative is a group of independent farmers or vineyard owners who band together and either start a winery or contract with a winery to make wines. The vineyards used for these wines are some of the oldest in the area and many of the vines are over 50 years old. This is a young wine and is fermented in stainless steel tanks, it receives very little aging (the 2009 saw 2 months of oak barrel aging), it is made to “drink now”. A wine that if not exactly Estate grown, is farmed by the folks who produced the wine and uses mature 50+ year vines in a prime growing area and is vintage designated, not non vintage is not the usual profile for a Red wine that sells for under 5 bucks. The 2009 was a surprisingly solid everyday wine, can the 2011 still deliver? The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is black cherry red with a slight brownish tint. The nose is plum, spearmint chewing gum and rich, ripe strawberry. This is a medium to full bodied wine, with bold, if not complex flavors and a nice hit of spice on the mid palate. It tastes of tart raspberry and softer plum with a dash of Nestle’s Quik powder. The mid palate brings non sweet blueberry and curry spice. The spice is stiff, but the tannins are soft and the acidity is on the mild side. The finish tastes the same as the body of the wine and lingers for a very respectable length of time.
The 2011 La Granja 360 Tempranillo Garnacha does not taste like a $4.99 wine. In Ireland it sells for 9 euros which translates to about $11.75, so thank Trader Joe’s for the bargain, it costs far more to ship the wine from Spain to the US than it does from Spain to Ireland and we still get a 7 buck discount. The LaGranja 360 is a solid, highly drinkable, food worthy Red wine selling at a bargain price. Drinking cheap never tasted so good.