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The red Spanish wines are usually blends of Gamatxa and Cariñena. Most of this wine is sold as vinos jovenes, for drinking while still young. Drink temperature for Spanish wine is 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C). Recently better quality Ampurdan-Costa Brava wines have been produced intended for export. If you look carefully you may find excellent Crianza and Reserva wines (such as those of Castillo de Perelada).

The Crianza wines are generally aged in barrels of American oak, which impart a definite sweet and vanilla-like scent and taste. This taste is intense and pleasing. Drinking temperature for Crianza Spanish wine: 57.2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C). The superb Reserva Tinto (first 12 months in American oak and then further in French oak before a further two years in the bottle before being sold) promises much from this area.

red tinto crianza Spanish wineThe traditional varieties of Garnatxa and Cariñena are used in its making, supplemented with a minimum of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Mazuela (Tempranillo). This produces a dark red Spanish wine with amber nuances that is full-bodied, elegant, with a warm taste in which the oak supplements rather than dominates the fruitiness. This is an excellent wine for a reasonable price. Drinking temperature for this Spanish wine is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).

The same Castillo de Perelada also produces a rare wine that is wholly Cabernet Sauvignon, which is aged first for 18 months in American oak and then in barrels of French oak before being bottled for a further period of several years ageing in the cellar. This Spanish wine is full-bodied, rather high in tannin but well-balanced (alcohol/tannin/acidity). You can drink this Spanish wine at 62.6°F (17°C).

Also extremely rare is the traditional Gran Reserva of 80% Cariñena and 20% Gamatxa which can be found for tasting at Cellers Santamaría. This is a fine, full-bodied and warm wine which is best drunk in combination with asados. Drink this Spanish wine at 60.8°F (16°C).

Finally a further mention of the old-fashioned rancio produced from Gamatxa d’Ampurdan. This wine is very sweet, syrupy, and has distinct aromas of roasted coffee and cocoa. Drinking temperature according to taste for this Spanish wine: 46.4-60.8°F(8-16°C).

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