Cariñena, tucked away in Spain’s northeast, is “home to some of the best value reds in Spain, if not the world,” writes Decanter. Our intrepid Spanish expert, Beth Willard, ventured there to follow up on a juicy lead – a rumor she heard of a wine that was so deep, so dark and so intense she just had to secure some for our customers.
The wine in question is the secret weapon of Antonio Serrano, winemaker at Bodegas Paniza. He conjures up this intense Garnacha elixir and uses it to ‘turbo charge’ his other wines with extra color or flavor. It’s a very special wine to Antonio – and it’s not for sale. That is, not until Beth went knocking on his door and convinced him to part ways with a small parcel.
Viña Altogrado is made with seriously old, gnarled vines (starting at 60 years old!), planted high in the stony soils of Cariñena. Up here, vines and their grapes soak in some serious sunlight and are buffeted by El Cierzo, a wind that keeps temperatures relatively cool. These conditions produce Garnacha of incredible depth and balance – which shine through in your glass.
The inky-black color gives way to aromas and flavors of ripe bramble fruits – blackberry, blueberry, raspberry – plus a distinct minerality and notes of fresh violet. Silky smooth and full bodied, this is a red to enjoy with grilled filet steaks, lamb burgers, semi-firm cheeses and more.
If you’re a fan of big, powerful (and scrumptious) reds, we recommend you order quickly – Antonio only parted ways with a few cases so there’s not that much to go around.