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Cariñena wines

D.O.P. Cariñena has it all: old vines, heirloom varietals, complexity of soils, and higher elevations. Located in the northeastern region of Aragón, Cariñena is Spain’s foremost producer of old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena. Bodegas Paniza, Bodegas San Valero and Grandes Vinos y Viñedos are the leading producers of Cariñena wines. Planted at high altitude, the vineyards descend into dramatic windswept plains that benefit from extreme day-to-night temperature differences, ideal conditions for the region’s appealing, fruit-forward wines. Here’s what our tasting panel thought about a selection of wines from the area:

Artigazo 2008

Bodegas Paniza 2008 Artigazo

Grape(s): 40% Garnacha, 30% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of cherries, currants, and pomegranates combine with suggestions of thyme, vanilla, and spice on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of black cherry, boysenberry, and pomegranate that open up into traces of pepper, herbs, and toasty oak. Bright, complex flavors and supple tannins make this wine ideal to pair with your favorite tapas.

Rating: 90

Corona_de_Aragon_Special_Selection_2013

Grandes Vinos y Viñedos Corona de Aragon 2013 Special Selection

Grape(s): 50% Garnacha & 50% Cariñena

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and smoky, spicy oak rise up from a glass. The palate reveals flavors of dark cherry and blackberry that flow into highlights of spice, creamy oak, and smoked meat. Ample fruit and smooth tannins are balanced by a lively acidity making this a lovely wine to enjoy with margarita pizza.

Rating: 90

Viñas Viejas de Paniza 2012

Bodegas Paniza 2012 Viñas Viejas de Paniza Garnacha

Grape(s): 100% Garnacha

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Plums, cherries, and raspberries mingle with spice, cocoa, and game on the nose. With a sip, flavors of cherry, bramble fruit, and plum come together with allusions of pepper, dark chocolate, and minerals on the palate. With a bright acidity and chalky tannins, this wine should be enjoy with lamb chops.

Rating: 88

Particular Garnacha Old Vine

Bodegas San Valero 2012 Particular Old Vine Garnacha

Grape(s): 100% Garnacha

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of plums, cherries, and blackberries meld with hints of earth and spicy oak on the nose. Flavors of blackberry, plum, and dark cherry unfold into whispers of white pepper, balsamic, and earth on the palate. Dark with hearty flavors, pair a bottle with a chicken dish that has a medium heat (as in spice) to it.

Rating: 87

Frnt 3C PREMIUM CARIÑENA 002

Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, 3C Premium Selection 2013

Grape(s): 100% Cariñena

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

The nose showcases aromas of plums, cherries, and boysenberries with accents of pepper and minerals. Plum, blueberry, and cherry flavors emerge on the palate alongside spicy, oaky, and earthy elements. A wine with a supple mouth-feel and plush tannins, chicken fajitas would make a fine pairing. And, it’s a great value, too.

Rating: 89

Particular Cariñena

Bodegas San Valero 2013 Particular Cariñena

Grape(s): 100% Cariñena

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of blackberries, plums, cherries and earthy spice rises up from a glass. On the palate, flavors of black cherry, plum, and blackberry blend with suggestions of white pepper, all-spice, and earth. Velvety tannins and black fruits endear this wine to a pairing with a gamy, grilled meat.

Rating: 88