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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:

Paniza 2015 Cariñena

Grape(s): 100% Cariñena

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

One is greeted by a bouquet of cherries, plums, pepper, and earth. Flavors of cherry and boysenberry interweave with expressions of spice and leather on the palate. Polished tannins carry bold flavors, making this wine a good match for spicy chicken tacos.

Rating: 88

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, minerals, and smoke. Ample fruit and smooth tannins are balanced by a lively acidity making this a lovely wine to enjoy with margarita pizza.

Rating: 89

 

Bodegas San Valero 2014 Particular Cariñena

Grape(s): 100% Cariñena

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Plenty of blackberries, plums, and currants mingle together with elements of spice and leather on the nose. The palate delivers flavors of bramble berries, cherry, and plum, alongside expressions of spice and earth. A vivid wine with supple tannins, open a bottle when you enjoy a roasted pork shoulder.

Rating: 88

Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, 3C Premium Selection 2014

Grape(s): 100% Cariñena

Region: Cariñena, Spain

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

A lovely combo of cherries, blackberries, violets, and pepper greets the senses. Vibrant notes of spice and flowers play well with cherry and plum flavors on the palate. Striking a good balance between hearty and lush, enjoy a glass with spicy turkey burgers.

Rating: 90