The two red grape varietals that dominate the landscape both figuratively and somewhat literally in Spain are Tempranillo and Garnacha. Often times one or the other dominates either a blend or is bottled as a single variety with small percentages of other grapes. Today I’ll look at a blend where the two key red varietals from Spain play equal roles. The Palacios Remondo 2009 La Vendimia D.O.C. Rioja was produced using fruit sourced at estate vineyards. These vines which sit at 1,800 feet above sea level have been organically farmed since 2003. This wine is a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo. The fruit was hand-picked and sorted. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. Barrel aging took place over 5 months in a combination of used French (80%) and American (20%) oak. This offering has a suggested retail price of $14.99.
Aromas of violet and dark berry fruit are joined by hints of vanilla crème in the nose of this 2009 blend from Rioja. Black and red cherry lead the way through the palate. Ultimately though, those cherry flavors are supplanted by black currant and a host of purple fruit flavors. The finish shows off earth, hints of cola, rhubarb and a couple of wisps of cranberry. This wine has soft tannins and solid acidity.
This Rioja blend is a terrific value. It’s drinks beautifully on its own and will also be a great match for a particularly wide array of foods. Things like Serrano Ham, Manchego cheese and Paella will all pair fabulously with this wine.