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Wine of the week: Las Rocas Garnacha, Calatayud, 2003

Published October 19, 2005

If you still think grenache is wimpy pink stuff, try it with a Spanish accent. Garnacha is less refined than Spain's tempranillo, a hearty Mediterranean grape that could make a bullfighter out of you. You'll drink real red. Or maybe see it.

Las Rocas is an odd bin find. Savvy importer Eric Solomon discovered grand old vines of garnacha in the rocky mountains of Aragon and started importing the wines in 2001. It quickly became an under-$10 darling. It's thick, rich and full of chocolate, licorice berries and spice, not too fruity or acidic, yet sturdy enough to keep.

The catch is that Las Rocas also packs hefty tannins and may pack alcoholic heat for some palates, depending on variations in bottle and batch. The better grade is tagged Vinas Viejas.

Still, you've got to try it. You may want a case. And if it's not to your taste, try another brand; there are plenty, and another may suit you better.

Availability: Better wine shops, $7 to $10.

[Last modified October 18, 2005, 09:05:05]

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