Ermita de San Lorenzo Gran Reserva 2005
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.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.