In 2013, part of my transition from higher education to the wine business included a stint as the executive assistant for Preston-Layne & Partners (wine sales) and Magnum Wines International (wine importer). It was during this time that I first had the opportunity to taste a vintage of Bodega Don Juan del Águila Gaznata Joven, Castilla y León, Spain. This wine is available now in the United States, thanks to a collaborative effort between New Spain Wines and Magnum Wines International. This was a sample provided by Magnum Wines International.
The grapes for this 100% garnacha come from high-altitude, 60+-year-old vines located in the Sierra de Gredos-Alberche Valley area in central Spain, near the village of El Barraco. This unoaked wine is produced by ambient (spontaneous) yeast fermentation in concrete tanks with minimal filtration and fining. The result is a garnacha that is fresh, youthful, fruit-forward, and easy to drink.
The color is quite dark, deep garnet, while on the nose and palate, it’s fruity, herbal, rustic, and spicy. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and blackcurrant intertwine with loamy earth and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and rosemary. I tasted the 2012 Gaznata Joven alone, then the 2013 vintage at a blind grenache/garnacha tasting. I was pleased that I was able to recognize this wine from the 17 tasted.
Soil type: Granitic sand
Pruning system: En vaso (goblet)
Altitude: 750 to 1,100 meters
Harvest method: Hand picked
Aging: 3 months in bottle
What is noteworthy about the Bodega Don Juan del Águila Gaznata Joven is that this level of wine production and palate-friendly complexity come with a suggested retail price of only $12.00. And that, my friends, is why this wine is Beth’s Smart Sip for the week of September 28-October 4. To find this vintage or the 2013 vintage, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.