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Great Wine: Honoro Vera Garnacha


It’s not often that we can call a ten-dollar wine “great,” but when the time comes, there’s a good chance it’s from Spain. Between Tempranillo, Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvedre) and Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache), the most popular red grape varieties of Spain, there are amazing values to discover and take a chance on. What you will most likely encounter is a wine of very forward fruit that is robust and bold, roundness of texture that is easily approachable and pleasant on the palate, and firm tannins that grip you on a long-lasting finish. What separates a great ten-dollar wine from the rest is one that is able to find excellent balance—too often, a Spanish red wine in this price category seems out-of-control and too much of something in at least one aspect. The 2014 HONORO VERA Garnacha, from the lesser-known region of Calatayud, is fruit on overdrive—black and red cherries and raspberry, ripe plum and strawberry syrup—finishing with a typically Spanish flair of spice. What it lacks in subtlety is compensated by a generosity of flavor. And there is excellent balance—in the non-heaviness of body, some sense of structure, and a refreshing acidity that evens things out. This is a red wine with a lot of verve. Leave it to one of the great contemporary Spanish wine producers, Juan Gil, to come up with another winner.  –J.M.


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October 19, 2016


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