Consider yourself a bit of an oenophile? Even if not (and that means wine expert, by the way), you'll want to take note of these top reds that are now available to purchase, pour, and enjoy in Houston.
The wines come from Garnacha, Tempranillo, and Cariñena grapes, all from the famed Spanish winery Grandes Vinos. Located in the country's historic northeast, Cariñena is one of the oldest winemaking regions of Spain — the only one in the world that lends its name to a grape — and a rising star in Texas.
Grandes Vinos has access to some of Spain’s oldest plantings of Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan), including vines that are up to a century old. Older is better with plantings, as they deliver concentrated, highly aromatic wines with great intensity and length, and a taste that is richly rewarding on the palate.
With access to 11,000 acres of vineyard in each of the 14 distinct areas of the Cariñena region, Grandes Vinos winemakers work with 700 grower-families to choose the best grapes in every vintage.
And it pays off — the winery has received more than 297 medals in global wine competitions in the past five years.
One of its best-known labels, Monasterio de las Viñas, is named for an 11th-century monastery located in the region. Rich in complexity and flavor, the wines are a benchmark of quality from Grandes Vinos. The grapes come entirely from the high-elevation village of Aguarón, one of the most prestigious growing areas in Cariñena.
The Spanish winery showed its love for the Houston hospitality industry by sponsoring CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards — Virtual Edition, and also announcing the Wine Program of the Year winner. If you purchased a Tasting Tote, you received either a bottle of Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva or Old Vine Garnacha.
The Old Vine Garnacha is made exclusively from vines that are at minimum 30 years old. Bright and with ripe plum and red berry aromas, the Garnacha's fruit and oak notes are rich and velvety on the palate.
The Reserva pours a medium ruby red with a garnet tinge. The nose is expressive with notes of strawberries, violets, and licorice. Well balanced, fluid, and smooth, the wine has a fruity exuberance.
Can't wait to get your hands on a bottle? Grandes Vinos recently entered the Texas market and is currently sold exclusively at Spec's. The wines range in price from $13-$21, making it a great wine to enjoy at home or bring as a host gift.
Now that is news worthy of a toast.