Wines of Garnacha Uncorked: 2016 Bodegas Nekeas El Chaparral Old Vines Garnacha

Each stone you overturn on the pathway to discovery develops greater understanding and appreciation not only for the wine but for the great folks behind these labels, who bring great traditions and passion to the table. It's evident in what they say, how they say it and oh-so-evident in the final product, passion is a sure 'seller,' and it's contagious. ~ A Wise Vinosapien 

In Spain, it's known as Garnacha, and in France, it's known as Grenache; however you spell it or describe, this is a varietal, that has flown under the radar for far too long. It's in my top ten of favorite varietals to have in my glass and 'chilling' in my cellar. Put it another way, if I was on a deserted island, and Garnacha was the only wine available, I'd be delighted indeed. When it comes to this varietal, I do tend to prefer the imported selections, much more than the domestic selections I've sampled over the years. It's not to say I don't like domestic juice, but if I have a choice, I prefer the import versions of the varietal.

Attempting to shop for this wine in the local grocery store aisle, there's like not much of this wine or any other Garnacha to be found, oh sure you may see a domestic Grenache, or it will be part of a blend from a French Cotes du Rhone, but as a single varietal, it's the exception on the sad supermarket aisles, and sadly not the rule. I think far too many of us (myself included) it can become far too easy to fall into the trap of going back to the same wine-well over and over. All of us are painfully aware that our lives on this mortal coil are short; a mere pebble in the sands of time and sadly a myopic point of view from our window of the world becomes so comfortable, like those favorite pair of broken-in hiking boots we cherish so much, and we quickly forget that we have other choices. 

'Choice' is a great thing, living here in Oregon or pretty much any state in the Union, you can walk into a wine store, and the world of wine is laid out before you. There are a couple of excellent examples of wine stores just north of me, in Eugene. But it's an hour fifteen there and back, a bit of hassle. Fortunately, there's a choice to shop online, simply fire up your PC, Phone or Tablet, and you can unpack a cornucopia of wines to choose from and have them delivered right to your door. By and far, that method for wine shopping is my favorite, especially seeing the minimal choices I have living in a smallish southern Oregon town.

What’s in ur glass tonight? I like to put my money where my mouth is, after a press junket last year to the @WinesofGarnacha this producer impressed me & continues to do so. I purchased a half case of this stunner from @vivino a wine, which has great bang for the buck. While I may have uncorked it a couple of days ago, it's still holding its own, days later, very nicely, just wow! Sometimes an exclamation mark is needed to express the joy of a great find, this is one of those times.

Okay, now it's time to dive headfirst into the tasting note, so buckle your seatbelts, because here we go. In the glass, this wine's intensity appeared light to a medium, you can also see some sediment at the bottom of the glass. Overall the color at the core was a ruby red to a light garnet at the rim, gorgeously balanced skin extraction. This wine had the typical aromatics associated with Garnacha, bold, summer-ripe raspberries, roasted strawberries, trail dust, and a pleasing peppery background.

This wines characteristic, recalling bygone years of nibbling on fresh strawberries grown in my parent's backyard garden. Flavor-wise, this wine reminded me of a lightly packed summer vacation suitcase, brimming with summer accouterments. A lighter style, with excellent soul and substance: while focused on fruit, raspberry, cherries, and strawberry, this wine brings the terroir with it.

This wine was delightfully dry, the fruit abundant, the acidity was spot on in balance, threading the needle between fruit and acid. For the uninitiated, this wine could come off as a bit flamboyant, but I enjoyed the tapestry it painted; I will admit that a bit of extra cellar aging would be quite helpful in years to come. The tannin level was layered and subtle. Flavor-wise, this wine reminded me of baked cherry pie, earthy minerality, crushed river rocks, roasted plums, and cherries. The finish was a medium plus; time spent in a decanter would make this wine much more enjoyable. Highly recommended. I gave this wine a score of 93 points. I believe both their 2015 and 2016 is still widely available in the price range I mentioned.

My Recommendations: Seeing, how my thirst for knowledge of new and exciting wines and wine regions is never really quenched, tasting through these tasty examples of wine from the Kingdom of Navarra was a fantastic treat, it felt like I was back in Spain once more. That said, you would be wise to seek these wines out yourself and give them a swirl. Until next time everyone, continue to sip long and prosper cheers!

Full Disclosure: Reviewed wines are from medias sample provided (not for sale) for the review process.

All original content: Including text and photographs remain the copyright © of the author, (W.R. Eyer, Fotogui Photography Inc., and the Cuvée Corner Media Company) except where otherwise noted.


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