Bodega Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros Garnacha 2008 ($15, Available at Picada y Vino)
"Autumn in New York/You'll need no castle in Spain..."
And so goes the song. OK, so you might not need a castle in Spain, but you might find yourself needing this biodynamically produced garnacha from Madrid to ease the transition from a pretty decent summer into what's looking to be a textbook-brisk autumn in New York.
We found that this wine welcomes cooler weather but lets you hold onto your memories of warmer days - kind of a scarf and sweater to Priorat's full-on coat, hat, and gloves. Presenting itself with a luminous, blue-purple red appearance and fresh plums and herbs on the nose, then revealing blue fruit, bright acid and dusty tannins on the palate, this wine is as cozy with a plate of cured jamón, mustard and cornichons as it is with sausage soup.
As it as it opens up in the glass, the fruit gets a bit sweeter, a bit of saffron is detected, and we can't help making Châteauneuf du Pape comparisons, as we're wont to do when tasting grenache-based wines. This wine could handily hold its own against some of the younger, new world-style Châteauneufs, but it's definitely doing its own thing, Spain style. Plums more than cherries, raw almonds rather than marzipan ... fall rather than winter, let's say. It's loaded with flavor but without too much weight, which is what we want when we're still a bit in denial about summer's end. Hey, it's a lot easier to greet autumn in New York when you've got this bottle to take off the chill.
-written by guest blogger, Beth Baye