So the marketers completely messed up on the packaging, making this look like an Elvis costume after everything went bad (there are flames on the bottle)...but the wine is pretty damn good so give it a shot.
The Wine: Garnacha de Fuego
Grape: Garnacha, aka Grenache, aka delicious
Price: $7.99 in Atlanta
Where it's from: Calatayud, Spain (in the northeastern part of Spain, but inland)
Normal Description: As I mentioned, this bottle is so hein that I wasn't sure what to think. A gamble for sure. This woman in the shop that I sometimes go to recommended it, and, to be honest, I wanted to see what she defined as good so I could see if I could trust her taste (I'm bad, but I swear this is a good technique to test your local wine talent). Turns out -- she's not half bad.
The wine is no pansy garnacha with wimpy flavor or brown edges. It's kind of a big deal, actually, and that may be because it's made from old vines (story of why old vines make kick ass wine is for another time). The wine is super dark and plum colored. Good sign for a garnacha. The nose BOWLED me over. Unbelievable dark spice. M.C. Eis (my husband) and I were so excited about its nose that we hit the spice rack to figure out what we were smelling (YES, we are HUGE nerds). We came up with nutmeg, tamarind, and agreed that there were also some other non-curry Indian spices that we're too uncultured to know. The flavor was similar to the nose. Not much fruit character (typical of European wines. Even in a hot climate like the one this grew in, you still get less fruit and more mineral/earth flavors). Tons of spice and pepper, which is from the grape, and also from the oak barrel it was aged in. Such a good wine for grilled stuff, meats with brown sauces, or just sipping.
Got snap or is it crap?: SNAP. I hope it's consistent and the next bottle stands up to this one. I guess I'm a believer. Viva el Fuego...