I love receiving comments and talking with you after you read my posts. Some of you like the pictures, others the wine notes. Many of you wonder if perhaps, just perhaps, it is possible that I drink just a little too often…
But almost all of you say many of the bottles are too expensive or hard to find.
Fear not, dear readers. I hear you!
I decided long ago when I began this wine journey to drink small production, organic, and/or biodynamic wines whenever possible. I find the way they’re made and the people who make them interesting, the way they taste generally better than mass produced wines which have more commercial yeasts, additives, and preservatives, and their impact is less negative on the environment.
However, I also know that not everyone is as curious about turning over the proverbial rocks to source those cool wines – especially when you can’t run down to the store and buy a bottle for dinner!
So, with that in mind, I’ve gone looking for easy-to-find, but also delicious-to-drink bottles, and I’ve got a few lined up to tell you about.
The first is one you can get virtually everywhere on the planet – in fact, it is exported from La Mancha, Spain (south of Madrid) to more than 25 countries. In BC, you can find it at all 195 provincial liquor stores and most of the privates. Yes, they make that much of it.
Most wine that there is that much of is not stuff I’d normally be telling you to try. However, this wine has a few things going for it that makes it different. First, it’s available everywhere, and second, it’s made from Spain’s most popular – and quaffable – red grape, Tempranillo.
Affordability is the third attribute of this wine. This is not a bottle to be held up as one of the great benchmark wines of the world. But, it is a good quality, reasonably priced drink that is a smoking deal.
Fourth, Spain has some of the best wine aging laws in the world and ‘Gran Reserva’ means they’ve kept it in a combination of stainless steel and then barrel (18 months) for a minimum of 5 years – but the 7 year Gran Reserva has been aged an additional 2 for a total of 7! Bonus for us, they’ve done all the work.
This wine is translucent garnet and has a nose of field berry and cherry, with purple plum, basalmic and vanilla pod. The palate is dry but still fruity, so there is a perception of sweetness. Flavours show more red and purple fruit – deep plum with berries – tobacco, vanilla and leather – there’s even some dried fennel. The tannins in this slightly rustic, but still fresh wine, and will help it stand up to meat dishes or charcuterie boards.
Anciano also makes a 10 year Gran Reserva (for only $2 more at C$15.50), as well as a 1.5 litre Magnum of the 7 year Reserva (C$25) which would be great fun to bring out at a party (one Magnum is the equivalent of two regular bottles).
I actually preferred the 10 year Gran Reserva – it was a deeper and broader version of the 7 year Gran Reserva with more intense black cherry and licorice, and a slightly fuller body. I can’t think why you wouldn’t pay $2 more for that bigger experience.
The 7 year Gran Reserva is an honest WSET Good wine that’s available everywhere, is great value for money, is made from a grape easily enjoyed on its own or matched to food, and has solid character. But I think the WSET Good plus 10 year Gran Reserva is the real show stealer.
Let me know what you think!