FREE BOTTLE - Plaza de la Reina Tempranillo
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The Plaza de la Reina is the busiest city square in old town Valencia, Spain's third largest city and a port that handles over 20% of the countries exports - so a great deal of Spanish wine goes out to the world from here! It is a global city with a great gastronomic culture (trivia point - the sweet beverage horchata often associated with Mexican food was actually born in Valencia), deep history and a patchwork of cultural influences. A beautiful hour-long drive southwest from the city takes one to the winery.
Tempranillo is a very dark red variety and one of Spain's most important, known to make age-worthy reds throughout the country. Grenache, or also called Garnacha in Spain, is likely to have originated in northern Spain and does well in hot regions; plants are is also known to thrive commonly and become "old vines" that produce excellent fruit. Monastrell goes by the name Mouvedre in France and is a small, thinner-skinned berry that produces higher perfumes and earthier flavors than the other two.
Plaza de la Reina red marries these three varietals into a totally tasty blend that displays a medium ruby hue and aromas of plum and cranberry with some spice. The flavors are surprisingly concentrated for a wine of this price with ripe fruit, nice tannins, and a long finish. One sip and you will find that the food choices are easy for this bottle: grilled beef, smoked meats and barbeque, even just good ol' hamburgers or meatloaf.