I think the first wine I ever really liked was a Spanish wine. I was studying at University in the south of France when wines from the Languedoc region bore a healthy resemblance to sulfuric acid. Rather than go blind or worse, we used to drive into Spain at weekends and get blindingly drunk on Tempranillo. Back then the wines cost less than a liter of coke and once you accepted that their hygiene control was probably non-existent, the wines were really good. Over the next 30 years I, like many others, have always felt that Spain has some of the most value oriented wines in the world. Things are beginning to change but this Alvear Alange that I tasted takes me back to the good old days – great wine at a great price.
The Ensamblaje from Alvear, the sherry making family, is a blend of 40% tempranillo, 30% garnacha and 30% syrah. Each of the varietals are fermented separately and only after strict selection are the barrels blended into one wine then rested in French oak for a further 4 months. What you get is a wonderfully aromatic wine – lots of cedar and smoky oak smells that remind me of an old wine-bar we used to frequent in Rosas – salamis hanging from the bar, sawdust on the floor and large pint mugs of fresh shrimp – heads on. Taste wise the Alange brings out a full menu of black berries infused with baking spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. This is a really meaty wine but not overdone. It’s the type of wine that requires a second bottle in the wings – it’s really easy to down the first one before the food hits the table. If, like me, you use the BBQ 365/365 then brave the cold, throw a steak on the grill, baked spud, creamed spinach and a few bottles of this. Magic.
- Producer: Alvear
- Vintage: 2009
- Varietal: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Syrah
- Country: Spain
- Region: Ribera del Guardiana
- Production: Reasonable.
- Availability: Good – $19.00 per btl. $16.00 per case (12)
Order: Ordering is simple. Click on the e-mail link below and tell me how many bottles you think you may want. We’ll figure out the rest from there and reply to your e-mail within 1 day.