This is one delicious, spicy little firecracker from the Bodega Vilaplana in Granada, Spain! It’s truly a hidden gem from a small, five hectares winery way up in the Sierra da Baza mountain range. And when I say way up, I mean 3000 feet up, so far that it snows there in the winter (though it has pleasant Mediterranean weather the rest of the year). The area has incredibly fresh water from the Sierra de Baza snowmelt and the high elevation means all-organic farming and practically no diseases.
The winery started as the dream of a young Catalan named Lluis Vilaplana who was passionate about the world of wine and its viticulture. His father-in-law was a winemaker in the Granada town of Caniles and taught Lluis all he needed to know about the cultural perspectives of viticulture. In 1995, he began his winemaking adventure by planting four different grape varieties to see how they would adapt to the area and the quality they would produce. Tempranillo and Macebeo had better than expected results and, after a few more experiments, Lluis and his team planted foreign varieties of Tempranillo and Macebeo and maintained their native variety, the Jaen Blanca grape of Bodegas Vilaplana, in 2006. After a few years of rooting and growing the vines, the first wines were ready to be sold. The winery produces about 1400 cases per year, making them a boutique winemaker that definitely should be on your radar!
This 100% Tempranillo has a nose of raspberries, dried cranberries and blackberries and an intense aroma of the berry mixture rushes out of the glass when you inhale. The fruit tone is the perfect level of ripeness and mixes both sweet and tart aromas. The elevation of the vineyard and resulting temperature swing is responsible for the ripe juiciness that is balanced with just the right amount of acidity. This is complemented by a sexy little touch of smoke at the end.
When drinking this wine, you’ll notice a smooth, consistent flavor on the palate with a touch of American oak and touches of dill and cooking spices that are all well-integrated for a very balanced taste. The structure is firm yet pleasantly round with soft tannins and acidity providing a solid backbone that will only improve in the years to come.
This Tempranillo practically begs for food and would pair wonderfully with carne asada or another spicy meat dish. However, it’s perfectly delicious on its own and would make an excellent wine to serve at a cocktail party or before dinner. Similar to a Rioja, this wine is more approachable and is also fresher and livelier than most Riojas. Wines of this quality can easily go for $50 and up if they are from California, but Spain produces the same types of wine at lower prices due to their reduced labor and production costs.
Only around 775 cases of the 2014 Paraje del Mincal were produced, and I was incredibly fortunate to get the last few cases of this wine that exist in the world. This is definitely a now or never moment if you want to try a first-class red at a very affordable cost. At $28.88 per bottle, this is an amazing value and will be perfect for your holiday get-togethers. I’m always a big supporter of the underdog and know you’ll be impressed with the wine this unassuming little Spanish vineyard has produced. My mission is to have as many people as possible taste this wine, so I’m offering it for 20% off if you buy four bottles AND we’ll take care of the shipping for you! If you want to buy more wines from us, we’ll also ship those for free when you purchase four or more bottles of this unique Tempranillo. That’s how much I believe in this wine! Order now before my small stock runs out.