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rene barbierI really like this wine, in part because the image on the label makes we want to hop a plane to Spain but also because this blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Tempranillo is about the best you can do for $5. It is simple but balanced, refreshing, and full of flavor and will enhance a variety of foods.

Bright cherry resting on a bed of earth notes on the nose; tart berry flavors and good acidity make for a lively, light-side-of-medium-bodied palate. The short finish has just enough soft, fine-grained tannins to keep your attention.  Old world character wrapped in a new world sensibility.

From the Penedes region near Barcelona and owned by Freixenet, this is a non-vintage wine so there is no telling how consistent it will be since the blend could change at the winemaker’s whim. But I have consumed several bottles of this over many years and it always has a similar profile.

Score: 85

Price: $5-$7

Alc: 13.5%