Grapes: 100% Garnacha Tintorera
The Garnacha Tintorera (a.k.a. Alicante Bouschet) for this wine is harvested from 20 year old vineyards on the Southeast of the Meseta of central Spain, surrounding the village of Higueruela. Fruit for this wine come from a number of different vineyard sites with varying altitudes and expositions with sandy and white, chalky clay soils. The vineyards are dry-farmed and trained in the traditional, vaso, vase-like manner. The production focuses on low quantity and high quality.
Grapes are picked when just ripe so as to present the best character of primary fruit. Both maceration and fermentation take place in stainless steel tanks with selected yeasts, first at low temperatures with dry ice to extract color and grape aromas and then at a relatively cool 70º F, to preserve those aromas. There is no attempt to extract additional tannin or color from the skins as it is not desired for this style of wine. Before undergoing malolactic fermentation the grapes are drained and pressed and then the wine is racked back to the stainless steel tanks. The wine is clarified and lightly filtered before bottling.
I don't often buy wines based on cool labels. But, this one really caught my eye and drew me in. It’s called BT Bodegas Tintoralba Garnacha Tintorera.
Bodegas Tintoralba is a wine cooperative located in Spain’s northwest corner, in the DO Almansa wine region. Garnacha Tintorera—called Alicante Bouschet in France—is a dark, inky, purple grape often used for blending. This version is brimming with vibrant, bright red-fruit flavors, along with hints of dark chocolate and black pepper. It's a fruit-forward wine with good acidity and is a helluva bang for the buck.
I'd suggest drinking this fun, go-to red with grilled meats. It would really shine with steak au poivre.
As for the label, it was the modernist painting of a dark-haired, ruby-lipped woman draining a wine bottle that hooked me. I’m glad it did. Wine Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The Wine Enthusiast
This colorfully packaged wine screams “concept export,” but what’s in the bottle holds up to scrutiny. There’s above-average cherry/berry aromas and then a full palate with popping acidity pushing lightly herbal plum and berry flavors. A well-made Garnacha from 20-year-old vineyards. Best Buy
Issue 2407, July 2011
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright purple. Jammy dark berries on the nose, with a spicy note adding energy. Round, supple blackberry and blueberry flavors offer good, straightforward appeal and surprising depth for the price. Becomes spicier with air, picking up notes of anise and cracked pepper and finishing with good tangy cut. This is a pretty grown-up wine compared to the more obviously fruity under-$10 bottlings out there. Issue 152, Sept/Oct 2010
The Washington Post
Not a lot of complexity here, just in-your-face, smoky, juicy fun. It's garnacha (grenache) at its cheap-date best. Score: * 1/2 (between very good and excellent)
by Dave McIntyre
August 11, 2010