Penascal Estate Tempranillo

The Penascal Estate Tempranillo 2007

2007 Penascal Estate Tempranillo, $9.00. LCBO#343434.

I’ve been wanting to make another forray into Spanish wine for a while now. I went to a wine tasting a few years ago based around Spain and Portugal, and I just loved the earthy robustness of the wines.

I can’t exactly call this bottle robust, but it is certainly interesting. I don’t usually go for Tempranillo, although I love the word, so I don’t know exactly what I should expect from it.  The bottle was a bit earthy/funky upon opening, which never deters me, in fact it usually makes me hopeful that something delicious lurks beneath the stink.

The wine is a deep and luscious purple, making me wish I had a dress or scarf, or something luxurious to wear, in the same shade. Beneath the earthy nose are grapefruit and pepper tastes, with a light to medium body and a dry, tart finish. The LCBO says sour cherry, but I’m sticking to grapefruit. Whichever fruit you choose, this wine isn’t too tart, just sort of zippy and fresh.

I read an article recently about red wines that can be chilled in the summer, and I think this Tempranillo might be a candidate. It’s light and fresh, yet interesting, and probably is best enjoyed in the summer.

Overall, I give this wine 8/10 for taste and 4/5 for value.

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Castillo de Monseran Garnacha

2008 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha, $8.95. LCBO#73395

This bottle of Garnacha comes from the Aragon region of Spain. I drank this wine on the weekend with a thin-crust tomato bazil pizza with some olives on the side, and I must say they went well together.

The wine is delightfully deep purple, very juicy, mild and smooth.  It has a bit of an earthy nose, which I always enjoy about Spanish wines. The taste was not terribly complex, it was medium bodied, and it had a balanced finish.

This is my third review so far, and it seems to be the same story here again.  This is definitely a wine that is great to drink alone or with a light meal, but definitely not full-bodied enough to take on bolder food.

Overall, I give this wine 7.5/10 for taste and 3.5/5 for value.

My mission this week is to find a full-bodied red for under $10, and with the help of my new favourite website, Wine Align, I hope to be victorious.  Stay tuned!