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Why to buy: Those who cook a lot of Indian or Mexican foods, chili or other spicy dishes, the Garnacha (Grenache) varietal is for you. These two voluptuous wines—brimming with red berries and gingerbread, subtle smokiness and roses, Asian spices and pastille flavors— showcase the grape at its sexiest.
Characteristics: Stephen Tanzer awarded the 2010 Arroyo del Tortolas 92 points, lauding its “nervy and focused on the palate, with very good depth and energy to its sweet raspberry and cherry flavors.” 65-year-old Garnacha vines are the basis of this wine, and its bright red hue, distinct perfume of berries and potpourri, delicate minerality and strong finish make it a fantastic food wine. It will do as well by smoked duck as it would by barbecued meats. Tanzer was even more smitten by the grenache from the 80-year-old Viña Bonita vineyard, awarding it 93 points. Vines growing in granite result in a wine with a slow-burn minerality, and vinification in wooden tanks, a long maceration, and malolactic fermentation in French oak barriques results in a silky, expansive wine with a ruby color. Expect a nose of berries and roses, a silky texture, and a very pure, vibrantly fruity and floral finish.
Brand: Rare Wine Co