AT THE BAR garnacha/grenache
SPANISH GARNACHA: KEY APPELLATIONS (DENOMINATIONS OF ORIGIN OR DO)
Cariñena DO (Aragon)
Though the name refers to the cariñena/carignan grape, most wine produced in the region is
garnacha. The largest Spanish growing region of garnacha with many old vines, Cariñena is home
to many large producers around Zaragoza, Aragon’s capital city.
The oldest winery in Cariñena, Bodegas San Valero pioneered careful harvesting by small
vineyard plots. Pedro Fatas, general manager, calls its Particular garnacha range a vin de soif, an
At The Lexington, a modern supper club restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota, chef/partner
Jack Riebel began listing Bodegas San Valero in 2017. “Our guests look for more than California
cabernet—they want wines that are different and ‘cool.’ Particular fits that bill with its bright-red
fruits pairing well with Polynesian spare ribs in huli-huli sauce.”
The largest winery in Cariñena, Grandes Vinos produces more than 20 brands, including
Grandes Vinos Anayón Corona d’Aragon. “My mission with this limited-selection wine is to show
how the fruit and oak aging can be harmonious,” says Marcelo Morales, director of winemaking.
The Grandes Vinos brand Beso de Vino, with a large bull on the label, and El Circo Acrobata, a
fruity rosé, are both garnering accolades.
Calatayud DO (Aragon)
A more recently designated DO, Calatayud is becoming known for well-structured, full-bodied reds and lively rosés. With the most vines more than 50 years old, the appellation has a
more rugged terroir than Cariñena.
Bodegas Alejandro is a large winery in Calatayud with more than 120 winegrowing members.
The rocky sloped vineyards inspired Yolanda Diaz, managing director, to name the first export
brand Las Rocas, widely distributed by E. & J. Gallo.
The flagship brand of the winery is Evodia, a Greek name meaning “perfume.” Picked from old
vines on pure schist with minimal soil at high elevation, the wine carries a unique aroma of spices,
minerals and cherry. The label is owned by Diaz, Eric Solomon of Eric Solomon Selections, and
Jean-Marc Lafage, a well-known consulting winemaker/vintner from Roussillon.
Campo de Borja DO (Aragon)
Northeast of Cariñena, the Campo de Borja DO has roots dating back to 1134 from Cistercian
monastery vineyard records. Known as the “Empire of Garnacha,” the area’s long, hot summers and
cold winters yield wines with power and finesse.
New ways to consume Roussillon
wines are expanding, thanks to the
creativity of mixologists in France
and the U.S. The Riv’Tonic made
from Rivesaltes Ambré fortified
sweet wine and tonic has gained
fame globally. In San Francisco,
H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir Bar
develops recipes highlighting
the complexity of wines from
appellations such as Banyuls,
Maury and Rivesaltes.
Ehrmann created the Banyulserac,
a twist on a Sazerac, with Banyuls
Rimage. The classification rimage
refers to local dialect meaning
“vintage.” These wines are only
made in outstanding vintage years.
Domaine La Tour Vielle winery in
Collioure produces a well-known
Ehrmann’s recipe highlights the
botanical nature of the Banyuls
Rimage and pairs it with the spice
and character of rye whiskey.
2 oz. Banyuls Rimage
1oz. rye whiskey
0.25 oz. absinthe
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
New cocktails with
ABOVE, LEFT: Chateau Les Pins Grand
Cru du Roussillon.
ABOVE, RIGHT: One Market octopus dish.