Monasterio de Las Vinas Old Vine Garnacha

Monasterio de Las Vinas is one of the favorite Spanish wines of the Quebec consumer. As a matter of fact, it formed part of my Spanish introductory wines and Cariñena as well. So, I was very pleased to visit Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, the powerhouse coop that makes this great little gem.

This is one of the best wine cooperatives in Spain and the world. It’s a pretty cool union of forward thinking 700 viticultural families. Since 1950’s they have been captains of industry of the appellation always taking it to the next level

Grandes Vinos y Vinedos is one of the participants of the Wines of Garnacha/Grenache program. This is an historical joint venture initiative between the Spanish and French Government for the promotion of Garnacha in Spain and France. As I write this lines, I am ending the Spanish part of my trip and heading to Rousillon to continue the French part. During this trip I learnt that Canada is a the most important market for this Carinena company ( they send about 2.5 million bottles)

Carinena is the oldest appellations in Aragon and one of the oldest of Spain. Indeed, its production area was formally established in 1933 but its good reputation goes back to the Roman times. It was the favorite wine of famous Spanish comic playwright Pedro Munoz Seca. In his best known play ” La venganza de Don Mendo (Don Mendo’s Revenge, 1918), there is a reference of Carinena wine through the central character Don Mendo who loses a card game also known as ” las siete y media” because he had too much wine

¡Serena, escúchame, Magdalena, porque no fui yo… no fui!
Fue el maldito cariñena, que se apoderó de mí

Carinena is located 50 km away from Zaragoza to the the south of the Ebro river, in Campo de Cariñena. Garnacha and Carignan are the leading grape varietals planted in the appellation which is notorious for his extreme climate and rude terroir. It is very hot during the day. cold at nights and the rain seems that is always missing. The vines thrive in tough soils such as slate. That’s why it earn its famous phrase: El Vino de Las Piedras.

I tasted the Old Vine Garnacha 2016 which was just was terrific. It had aromas of slate, eucalyptus, anis with deep red fruit notes. On the palate, it was generous, fruit foward and quite easy to drink. Kind of old world meet new world. Soft tannins with delicate nuances of cacao and cumin. The 2015 is available at the moment at the SAQ ( 13838646, $14.55). This is a wine that delivers so much for the quality and it was a pleasure for me to rediscover it at the source.

The Garnacha that goes in this wine is 40 years old and the wine see a slight passage in French oak for 4 months. This is a great wine to have for your weekday BBQ’s or even something more simple such as Serrano ham with tomato and bread which is something very classic to eat in Spanish Gastronomy.

Although Grandes Vinos is not biological, it is important to note that they take quite seriously their environmental impact. For instance, they use the Sexual Confusion Technique as an alternative to chemical control of the Grapevine moth. Basically, this is a technique that employs the pheromones of female moths to confuse the male moths in order to prevent breeding

That’s it for now and see you soon. Hasta luego!!

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