This week’s bargain wine of the week is Spanish: 2015 OGV “Old Garnacha Vines” from Bodegas Virgen de la Sierra. The mountain vineyard lies between Madrid and Zaragoza, over 800m (2,600ft) above sea level. The vines, as the name suggests, are old; planted some sixty-hundred years ago. They grow in a mix of slate and clay soils. The wine is fermented in concrete and then ages for six months in a mix of new American and used French oak barrels.
Garnacha is the Spanish name for Grenache. In France, this grape is used in many Rhone blends, including those from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The grape may be better known by its French name, but it originated in the Northern Spanish region of Aragon. The vineyard from which this wine came is in the southern part of Aragon.
The foil on the OGV bottle proudly announces that it received 91 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Thus, I opened this bottle with high hopes. The colour was dark ruby. The nose was of leather and plum, the choice of order with those adjectives being deliberate; fruit was very much in second place. The flavours were more interesting than the nose had suggested. A mix of cherry and raspberry with a strong earthy backdrop and a light sprinkle of pepper. The balance was ok, let down by a slightly too pronounced acidity. The medium length finish disappointed with copper, acid, and dull tannins left in the mouth. We paired the wine with chicken kebabs, served with roast potatoes and asparagus.
Overall, this was a drinkable but not outstanding wine. I took a second glass. I would probably have been more impressed, had the bottle not so forcibly announced its 90+ score from Robert Parker. We paid $6.99 at CostCo and for that price, the OGV wine is definitely a bargain.