I can’t say enough about Jorge Ordonez. For those who don’t know the name take note, because he is the preeminent importer of the best wines from one of the world most undervalued wine regions – Spain. Beginning in the 1980’s, he started bringing high quality Spanish wines to the U.S. and today he imports over 130 wines from 40 different wineries. When you see the “Jorge Ordonez Selection” label on the back of a bottle; odds are you’re holding a winner. This Veraton is no exception. Made with 100% Garnacha grapes (Grenache in French; the main varietal in Southern Rhone wines), it is a deep ruby colored powerhouse that still provides great finesse and balance. On the nose, you’ll find stewed prunes, black cherry, blackberry and peppercorn, balanced out with the earthiness of tobacco. The oak is well integrated with caramel and toast notes, and it has a big, long finish with ample grape tannin. The first label is one of my favorite wines, and while this Veraton isn’t quite in the same category, it is a sensational value. However, if you’re still thinking $29 is a bit pricey for a bottle of wine, my next suggestion would be the Atteca Garnacha for $16. It comes from a different winery, but it’s also an Ordonez wine and it displays many of the same characteristics that I look for in a good Spanish Granacha. Food Pairing Suggestions: Go to the butcher right now and pick up some lamb or pork chops. Chops are a must because of that great strip of fat they have on them. Then fire up the grill and get a good char on that fat before serving it up with this Veraton. After that meal, you’ll be prepared to meet your maker because it might not get too much better. For a less earth shattering, but still tasty, experience look to drink this wine with a variety of grilled sausages like Spanish merguez, a kielbasa or perhaps some blood sausage.
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