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Campos de Luz Reserva Garnacha 2011
Although much of these plantations have been replaced with other varieties, there are still areas where Garnacha dominates, like in the DO Cariñena, where it is 60% of the area planted. The grape varieties of Campos de Luz are mostly Garnacha, although there are also parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Macabeo and Moscatel.
The range of Campos de Luz wines is based around Garnacha, the most typical and essential of the grape varieties. These wines are aromatic and utterly bound to the history of the region.
This northeastern Spanish town is believed to be the origin of the grape with the same name. However, Carinena (in French, known as Carignan) has all but been abandoned in favor of Garnacha, which is better suited for its arid climate. The region of Carinena also produces fine examples of whites based on Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo, Parellada and others.
Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.
In the Glass
In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.
Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.
Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.