A Garnacha with roots in the 12th century

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Well built: The 2010 Tres Picos Garnacha has gained popularity because of its firm red fruit structure. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

Spain’s equivalent of Pinot Noir has been the introduction of Garnacha, also known as Grenache. This wine has gained popularity because of its firm red fruit structure, and is less known for its bright aromatics, as with Pinot Noir. Many believe that the origin of Garnacha dates back to the 13th century in the northeastern sector of Spain within the community of Aragon. From Spain it traveled north to the Southern Rhone region of France where it achieved acclaim in the wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Bodegas Borsao has 60 percent of the estate planted to Garnacha, with some of the oldest plantings dating back to 1145. The average age of these hillside vines are between 30 and 50 years old and they thrive in Spain’s hot dry climate, developing dark red tones. Garnacha created its own identity in this country in the 21st century and became know as a new world varietal of great value.

The 2010 Tres Picos Garnacha from Borja, Spain, displays a brilliant ruby color with purity and generous amounts of glycerin. It is up front with juicy dark cherry preserves, red licorice and a layer of minerality and silky tannin in the background. It does not have the feminine touch of a Pinot Noir but instead embraces a fleshy, full-bodied mouth-feel with a rose petal softness on the edges. Another one of Spain’s great value wines.

Suggested Retail: $14.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.