Marqués de Valdecañas Gran Reserva 2012 Carinena DO

Delving deep into the shelves of my local Laithwaite’s merchant in Borough Market, London Bridge, I found a trove of unusual Spanish wines and that evening enjoyed this Marqués de Valdecañas Gran Reserva 2012, Cariñena DO.

An unusual wine with elegant rose petal aromas straight away, followed by an evolving concentrated red currant and strawberry flavour. For a Gran Reserva this is an amazingly balanced wine with beautiful satin mouthfeel. It is elegant, attractive, and intriguing. The oak contributes to the structure but in no way overpowers the taste. 

Cariñena is a small subregion in Aragon, south of Zaragoza and someway west of Priorat. It was first exploited commercially by the Romans and was legally regulated in 1696. Perhaps it is that sense of history and place that good Spanish wine imparts to the aficionado? 

When people ask what I love most about Spain, I always reply without hesitating that it is the spirit of the people. This silken wine comprised of Garnacha and Tempranillo captures the spirit of the arid landscape that rises up from the banks of the river Ebro. 

There is a grape variety also called Cariñena but surprisingly it only accounts for around 10% of vines in the area. More intrigue?

I sense a trip to Cariñena coming my way. There is obviously so much more to explore. At £12.99 this wine offers an alluring experience for wine lovers at a very agreeable price.

Available online at Laithwaite's


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