What does the phrase ‘Table Wine’ conjure for you? Maybe a gigantic vat of grapes, pressed by foot, run off into 1 gallon growlers? Lucky for us, the ‘Table Wines’ [the appellation affixed to bottles that don't conform, either geographically, technically, or content-wise to a more specific region] that make it to your local wine seller often do so because they are great values. I am certainly not the first blogger to comment on today’s gem [Read the wine’s write-up at Bigger Than Your Head] and I will doubtless be the last.
The 2007 Bodegas de Alto Almanzora Este [currently $12.49 at Haskell’s Summer Sale] is a Vino de Mesa made from Monastrell, Tempranillo, Syrah, Garnacha, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon – some of it grown on site, some of it purchased. Doesn’t this sound like a recipe for cobbled-together disappointment? But Alto Almanzora has expertise and technology on their side, and it shows here. There may be no better country from which to find great values in wine right now than Spain [see: Protocolo or Las Rocas] and further proof is in the Este. This wine has a deep brick-red/purple color with a smoky blackcurrant nose. Its flavor is deep and rich, fuller bodied, with juicy dark berry fruit and very pleasant spice throughout. The finish sticks to your palette begging for a follow up sip. This wine is not complex, it doesn’t have intriguing nuanced aromas or evolving flavors – it’s just a straight-forward, gutsy, full flavored wine with great punch for the price. Wine Advocate scored it a 90, if that influences you at all. Food pairing; it’s a perfect companion for the above pictured Mexican Hot Pockets. Muy bueno.