October 20, 2004

Bellmunt del Priorat 2002 Priorat GR-174

About $15. Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars Direct, New York.

Wines from Priorat, a mountainous region of northeast Spain, tend to be way too pricey for everyday consumption. That's too bad, because it's known for red wines as ripe as the sun is hot, and as ruggedly built as its craggy, mountainous landscape. Most depend on Garnacha, a grape that stands out for its cherry flavor. This one, however, uses CariƱena for its base, a grape better known on the other side of the Pyrenees, where the French use it to make meaty reds and call it Carignan. GR-174 meets in the middle, with ripe red cherry flavors with some grip and grrrr of tannins and earth, the sort of red that makes you wish for spit-roasted lamb eaten in the Spanish countryside, but that will go just as well with hamburgers tonight.

This recommendation was originally published in the Denver Post.

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