Snooth virtual tasting that evening which featured the Wines of Garnacha and hosted by Master Sommelier Laura Maniec and Master of Wine Christy Canterbury. It was readily apparent that my sample wines were cooked, in other words significantly over heated. The first clue was that the wine bottles were hot to the touch, not just warm, but hot. Second, two corks were protruding form the top lip of their bottles. Third, after uncorking, the cork's sides were streaked with wine that had managed to not only push the corks up when it expanded, but also seep through the cork. And finally, the wines tasted flabby and a little stewed. Oh great.
I still attended the virtual tasting and learned that the five wines represented the five Designation of Origin (DO) where Garnacha (Grenache) originated. These DOs (Calatayud, Campo de Borja, Cariñena, Somontano and Terra Alta) are located in eastern Spain, in the wine country just outside of Catalina. The grape thrives in the hot Mediterranean climate with it's well drained soils and cool desert like nights. The first written mention of Garnacha is in 1513, making it not only one of the oldest "modern" grapes but also one of the most planted. Let's also not forget about Grenache Blanc or Garnatxa Blanca as it is known in Catalonia. This white grape is related to Garnacha and has found a home in the Rhone where it is France's 5th most popular planted grape.
Below are the five wines that were sampled during the virtual tasting with reviews from other participants. And remember these wines were all priced less than $15.
Clos Dalian Garnatxa Blanca 2015 - MyVineSpot: Flavors are delicate; texture is nice, and great acidity, makes it a wonderful food.
La Miranda de Secastilla Blanca 2014 - TheFrugal WineSnob: YUM! A kiss of oak, petrol..
Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Carinena 2014 - the least cooked wine that I received, maybe because of the screw-cap closure - WineCompass: red plum, vege, spicy finish
Evodia Garnacha 2015 - Fiery01Red: A steal for $10.99! Modern rich texture lots of juicy fruit floral notes & spice.
Garnacha Centenaria 2014 - MyVineSpot: Always excellent value for the money (approx $13) and a go-to #BBQ #wine.