Los Dos Grenache + Syrah

Wine: Los Dos Grenache + Syrah.

Grapes: Garnacha (85 percent), syrah (15 percent)

Region: Campo de Borja, Northeastern Spain

Vintage: 2011

Price: $8.99

In the glass: Los Dos wine is a dark purplish-red color with a deep violet core going out into a fine fuchsia-colored rim definition and fairly high viscosity.

On the nose: It is redolent with all crushed red and black berry fruit, including marionberries, raspberries and blueberries, with earthy notes of wood, minerals and touches of wet slate, crushed black peppercorns, vanilla bean stalks and violet pastilles.

On the palate: This full-bodied Spanish youngster of a wine attacks your tastebuds like a charging bull at a matador’s cape with loads of concentrated crushed blackberries, blueberries and pomegranate juice, meaning it’s more earth-driven than fruit-driven. The midpalate is chock-full of bright acidity and ripe tannins, making the wine “chewy” with goodness and continues to linger with cran-grape juice notes and vitaminlike minerality for quite a while on the after-mouth.

Odds and ends: The smartly labeled Los Dos Grenache + Syrah wine is a great representative of contemporary Spanish winemaking. Los Dos simply means “The Two,” referring to the two grape varieties originating from France’s Rhone Valley but successfully transplanted in most Spanish winegrowing areas centuries ago with tremendous results. In Spain, grenache is called garnacha and syrah is the same, but they are distinctly farmed, because in most cases the vines are very old and low-yielding and directly on the ground without the use of more modern trellising systems. This gives a tremendous concentration in the wine because few clusters of grapes develop on these old gnarly root stocks and therefore absorb all the elements of the rocky and poor soil beneath them. This is a fairly young wine and has a lot of great forward tasting notes that make it immediately attractive to pop and drink with simple hearty foods, or cheese such as the classic Spanish Manchego. Drink it now through 2015.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at gil@winevegas.com.

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