In my ongoing search to find interesting and different expressions of each grape varietal based on the terroir of each region I had an interesting "unexpected" find in the Unexpected Garnacha produced by the Ramon Reula family in Aragon. The Unexpected part of the name is based on their family's project to find very old abandoned parcels of vines throughout the region and each find is pretty much unexpected in the vast landscape of Aragon. In my initial tastings of wines from their family's project, all the wines I tasted were very expressive and well made but I decided to start with the Garnacha first and hopefully add more of their wines in the future.
As for looking for different terroirs for interesting expressions of each grape varietal, I already have examples of Garnacha from the slate of Priorat and Montsant, the deep clays of Terra Alta, and the granitic sand of both DO Madrid and DO Cebreros in the Sierra de Gredos. With this Garnacha from Aragon, I am adding an additional set of minerally with the limestone influences in the Jiloca River valley.
The dramatic landscapes of Aragon!
“Unexpected” Garnacha 2019 (OF)
This is old vine Garnacha from vineyards that are all at least 100 years old that are in the Jiloca River valley south of Zaragoza. The “Unexpected” theme is that all the vineyards used for this wine had been abandoned for a long time and had been unexpectedly found only through the surprise of finding such old vineyards in remote places in the Jiloca valley.
There are rich dark fruit aromas such as dark cherries, dark plums, blackberries, and boysenberries along with interesting hints of dark chocolate, heirloom roses, and some smoky accents from the schist beneath the vineyards. Flavors include rich dark plums, dark cherries, and boysenberries, along with hints of nectarines. There is a medium to full body, perfect balance and acidity, and a lush full finish.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, Rib Eye, Roast Beef, short ribs, beef stew, lamb chops, roast veal and veal chops, roast pork, pork chops, pork shoulder, duck, grilled chicken, coq au vin, cassoulet, salmon, tuna, swordfish, mussels, Asian and Mexican beef, pork, and chicken dishes, lamb curries, Tandoori dishes, spicy red curries, grilled sausages, charcuterie, and mild, medium, rich, and creamy cheeses.