This week I have been revisiting Spain in my studies. Instead of trying a classic Rioja this time, I found a Spanish, Rhone style blend with 50% Garnacha and 50% Syrah and no Mouvedre which is called Monastrell in Spain. In Arizona, we have many GSM’s (Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre blends) which is a classic Rhone style.
The Agoston 2015 is from the DOP of Carinena, near the Iberico Mountain range, and the DO dates back to 1932. It’s close to the city of Zaragoza in Aragon in the Northeast corner of Spain. The Wild Boar on the label references the animals coming into the vineyards from the forest nearby and nibbling on the fruit. Again, it reminds me of our local Arizona Javelina, though a total different animal.
This dry red wine was a beautiful color of purple/ruby and had a medium body. The nose had aromas of cherry and vanilla and the palate was fruity with notes of cherry, raspberry, vanilla and pepper. This is definitely fruit forward, more New World in style, but not as jammy as a California blend and to me more food friendly. It had 13.5 % alcohol, medium acidity and finished at around 25 seconds.
What was surprising was that even after 2 days, the wine was still quite drinkable. At under $12, this is a great, easy drinking choice.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy drinking red then the Bolla, Rosso Veronese 2013 is a good choice for under $10. This IGT (Indicasione Geografica Tipica, the category above table wines in Italy) was clear with a Ruby-Garnet color and had 12.5% alcohol. According to their tech sheet, the grapes used were Corvina, Rondinella, Merlot and Cabernet. The nose displayed aromas of earth, cherry and alcohol, the later of which blew off after being opened for around 10 minutes. It had a medium body with low tannins and the flavor showcased notes of cherry, plum, black fruit, cinnamon and vanilla. The finish however was quite short at around 15 seconds. It paired nicely with my chicken stir fry but, would also accompany mature cheeses and meats beautifully.
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.