Garnacha is a grape variety not commonly known to many fans of red wines in California, but it is flavorful and well worth searching out. One of the better Garnachas available to us is the 2012 Las Rocas Garnacha, from Calatayud, out of the high altitude vineyards of Las Rocas. This wine reflects the best of both the region (Calatayud) and the work of the vineyards, under the direction of Managing Director Yolanda Diaz.
Las Rocas Garnacha originates in the Aragon region of Spain, a corner of the country known both for its beauty and its wines. These wines fight a tough battle. The climate is very suitable for the production of the wines, but the topography of the land makes growing grapes an annual challenge.
In Calatayud, like so many other areas of Spain, the farming is most frequently done in small plots, family plots which have been held by the same family for generations. Combining together, the collectives end up sending quality grapes to the press.
For the 2012 Las Rocas Garnacha, the season was long (good) but relatively dry (not so good). However, with no late season storms, the grapes were able to reach their natural ripeness and at harvest were perfect for selection. At harvest time, the consensus was that this was one of the best crops in recent memory.
Picked at the peak of the season, the grapes went from the picking to several days of cold soaking to pull out the deep flavors of the individual grapes. Fermentation kept the grapes in contact with the skins for 15 days, and the temperature was controlled at 75 – 82 degrees F. Post cold soak, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation.
During long-term storage, a portion of the juices were stored in French and American oak for up to 10 months. This added to the flavor of the final product.
The 2012 Garnacha can be a keeper for private storage, or it can be consumed immediately. Either way it is a good wine to get and enjoy.
Have a winederful day! And enjoy the Garnacha!