Last night was one of those nights: We were catching up on The Americans (a great TV show, by the way) and I was vaguely craving a glass of wine. So I checked our box that says “cheaper reds” my eyes landed on this bottle, a 2009 Picos del Montgó Old Vines Garnacha from the Cariñena region in Spain. I had picked it up a while back, probably a year ago, at World Market (so tells me Cellar Tracker) for $8 at the World Market.
The website is not very helpful, it is one of those typical wines made in large numbers for the export markets. It seems like these wines are made by an importer called Vinnico, at least that is what the back label states. I turned to other blogs and it turned out that there are a number of reviews of this wine, but they also don’t really provide much in information about it. The Cariñena region of Spain is located in Aragon, in the North Eastern heart of Spain. It is one of the oldest protected wine growing areas in Europe, apparently having been awarded DO status in 1932 (thank you Wikipedia for that!).
With not much more to give you in background, let’s get to the wine. It has a listed 13.5% ABV. In the glass, a rather dark ruby red wine presented itself, no visible signs of ageing yet. In the nose, I got red berries, some almond and hints of tobacco. It was a riper, more aged wine. On the palate, this wine was medium-bodied, with low and nicely integrated tannins. Definitely on the sweeter side, with some wood and spice and tobacco, plums, vanilla and receding red berries, especially cassis. It was very reminiscent of a Port to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was no Port, but it was so ripe, and tad too sweet, and it showed some age on the palate. The finish was of medium length.
Absolutely nothing objectionable about this wine. Nothing special or earth shattering, but for $8 it was a decent weekday wine. I was actually surprised how much I liked it. Definitely a wine for a fall or winter evening, though. I would probably buy it again, although I assume this vintage will not get better from here on out.