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2012 Campo Viejo Garnacha 

Rioja, Spain

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Retail $9-$14

This light- to medium-bodied, soft, silky wine goes well with a variety of summer fare. Campo Viejo, a tempranillo specialist, produced its first 100 percent garnacha (known as grenache in France) bottling in fall 2013. Unlike its tempranillo wines, which use grapes from all three subregions in Rioja, grapes for this wine come from Campo Viejo's vineyards in the lower Baja subregion. One of the world's most widely planted varietals, garnacha thrives in warm, dry conditions. The Rioja climate is hot and dry with minimal Atlantic and continental climactic influences. Vines are planted in alluvial soils with clay, limestone and silt. Following harvest, the wine was fermented in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature, was steeped with grape skins for 12 days and spent four months aging in new French oak barrels. In the glass, it offers aromas of red berries, cherry, vanilla and spice. On the palate, taste bright strawberry fruit, raspberry, cherry, dried herbal notes, a hint of toast and soft tannins. During hot summer months, chill the wine slightly. Drink it with tapas, vegetarian dishes, sausages, burgers, pasta, lasagna and cheeses. Buy it at: Elio's Wine Warehouse, Matassa's Market, Vieux Carre Wine & Spirits, Lakeview Grocery, Dorignac's, Zuppardo's Family Supermarket, Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket, Albertson's, most Rouses Markets, Canseco's on Esplanade Avenue and Metairie Road, and Robert's Fresh Market on West Esplanade Avenue.Drink it at: GW Fins, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, NOLA, Pho Orchid, Vine & Dine, Schiro's Cafe and Bistro Byronz. — BRENDA MAITLAND

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