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2013 Bula Red Blend 

Montsant, Spain

Retail $13

Spain has produced wine for centuries, but the Montsant region is just beginning to draw attention. Long overshadowed by neighboring Priorat, Montsant is the other important red wine-producing region in the Catalonian district just below Barcelona. Bula designed this wine to accompany the region's cuisine and its use of olives, nuts, duck, fish and rice, and it takes a big wine to keep up with the diverse flavors. Bula is a blend of 40 percent garnacha, 20 percent syrah and 40 percent carinena, also known as mazuelo in the region and carignan elsewhere. Most of the fruit comes from vines more than 30 years old, but Montsant wasn't officially recognized with its own designation until 2004. While the region enjoys hot temperatures, the Mediterranean Sea offers mitigating influences and softens wines' flavors. This wine offers aromas of dark cherry and red pepper. On the palate, taste dark fruit, spice and a chocolaty richness. Decant 20 minutes before serving. Drink it with beef dishes, braised short ribs, roast lamb and stewed chicken. Buy it at: Whole Foods Market.

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