16 Mar Penya
blend: 52% Grenache, 36% Carignan, 12% Syrah region: Côtes Catalans, Roussillon (southwestern France)
The cooperative winery in Cases de Penya, a tiny village in the Roussillon region of Southern France (see image below), goes by many names, but with its Catalan culture, most Americans simply call it “Peña”. Situated 30 miles north of Spain, in the Agly Valley of the Pyrénées, the name “Cases de Pene” is a derivation of the Catalan for “house of stones”. It is a hot, rugged, wind-swept place with distinctive, marne and black schistic soils.
These particular grapes represents a very common blend in the south of France. These grapes grow well in the poor rocky soil and the lack of water intensifies the flavors in the
berry, resulting in richly flavored wines. Although this wine is not aged in oak barrels, it’s not lacking in flavor! It’s a medium bodied wine that I found to have notes of cherry, blackberry, licorice, sweet leather, bacon and baking spice.
The Wine Advocate rated it 91 points (great rating to a great value!) and has this to say: “…terrific, the ruby/purple 2014 Côtes Catalanes (52% Grenache, 36% Carignan and the rest Syrah, aged all in tank) offers lots of kirsch and darker berry fruit, spring flowers, pepper and violet notes to go with a medium-bodied, supple, forward, lively feel. Like the 2013, this is a rocking value to drink over the coming couple of years.”
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