Today’s wine is a perennial favorite red, because it’s delicious drinks like a lot more than $10.
Altovinum Evodia is another old vine Garnacha (up to 100 years old) from the Calatayud region of Spain. An area we like to say is THE go to region for discerning bargain hunters.
Recently, Verity wine consultant, Veronica Cole, was presenting this favorite at Red Bank’s Circus Wines /Spirits Unlimited on Newman Springs Road in Red Bank. The nice thing about the tasting was consumers were able to “try before they buy” and see how marvelously consistent this wine has been from year to year.
Ms. Cole encouraged tasters to note the aromas of the Altovinum Evodia Old Vines Garnacha. “When you sniff it you notice it begins with lovely aromas of rich blackberry and blueberry fruit, followed by cola, spice, licorice and pepper.” We noted notes of black pepper and black raspberry on the nose as well.
Tasting this smooth and delicious wine revealed a ton of savory fruit and nice spice. It is also loaded with great mineral notes, that really made this pop the tastebuds. The finish is long and spicy (love that peppery flavor).
Veronica explained the wine is a custom cuvee for Eric Solomon European Cellars produced from grapes grown in high altitude vineyards (2400-3000 ft) in the mountainous village of Atea. The vineyards are planted on pure slate soils and some of the vines are 100 years old. This wine ages for only five months in stainless steel but don’t think for a second that makes it one dimensional or less complex than other wines from the area that spend time in oak. As Cole asked, “Who wouldn’t like this? Grenache wines that taste like this are usually twice as much as the wine in this pretty bottle!”
When a customer asked what would you pair with this wine, she suggested stews: long slow cooked roasts of pork or lamb that may even be a little bit fatty (shoulder of lamb and lamb shanks)—especially if they come with dark, winey sauces. She further explained she “ likes it with classic French bistro dishes and hearty Spanish or Portuguese country cooking. It can take a bit of spice—there’s an affinity with paprika and pimento. Grenache is delicious with a goulash—and would certainly pair well with a mild curry, and considering the slight sweetness of Moroccan tagines, I’d pair it with them, too.”
“Since the alcohol content of this wine is 15%, it wouldn’t be an ideal choice for steamed or raw dishes such as sea bass, salads, or subtle cuisines such as Cantonese or Japanese”, she said and went on to state “It’s not a great pairing with citrus either, which rules out Thai. Although there are better matches for Italian food, Grenache is really good with dishes that contain cooked tomato and eggplant.”
Of course, Veronica thinks Grenache should have its place in every cellar and so do we. This is truly a pleasure to drink, delicious full and a bargain.
Altovinum Evodia Old Vines Garnacha can be found at Circus Wines /Spirits Unlimited, 56 Newman Springs Road, Red Bank, NJ 07701.