Saturday, December 6, 2008
This Las Rocas de San Alejandro 2006 ($11.95, although difficult to find, at least in this part of the state) is a truly good buy. Although it does not claim to be a crianza, it is nevertheless aged for six months in American oak. It exhibits all the good qualities of the grenache grape- restraint, fullness, a very even effect on the palate (the taste is there pretty much at once and does not fade rapidly) and (yes, but it really is unmistakable) a dark cherry flavor. It complemented our steak very nicely, without trying to compete with it. This wine comes from one of the best locations in the Aragonese province of Zaragoza, the hillsides surrounding the town of Calatayud. For the history buffs among you, this is near where Al Mansur, the Moslem scourge of Christendom, who at one time sacked both Barcelona and Santiago de Compostella, carrying off the bells of its cathedral, was finally defeated and slain in the year 1002.