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garnache de fuegoBodegas Breca is noted for their old vine vineyards in the mountains of Southern Catalyud from which they’ve produced impressive, affordable Garnacha since 2010. Unlike other bottlings from Bodegas Breca that I’ve tasted, this wine is sold under the Spain D.O. (Denominación de Origen) instead of the region of Catalyud and makes no mention of old vines on the label, so I’m not sure of the provenance of the grapes. But the wine has  the signature dark fruit and minerality of old-vine, high altitude, dry-farmed Garnacha—and something more.

Aromas of blackberry, ripe plum, charred wood and crushed rock provide an intriguing,edgy introduction, the aromatic intensity boosted by alcoholic heat. A seam of minerality drives the medium weight palate giving the pure, dark fruit a hard edge. The tannins are expansive and drying and seem to get an intensity boost from the high alcohol while showing some bitterness on the finish—15.5% is almost unheard of in an $8 wine. Beware the sorcery of tannins and alcoholic heat. Darkly defiant, pent-up savagery hidden by a veneer of restraint, this is one weird wine with an occult charm like Ghost’s Danse Macabre

Technical notes: Aged in concrete and stainless steel

Score: 88

Price: $8

Alc: 15.5%