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Monday, March 19, 2007

Jest Red? No, it's Just Fred

Spanish wines are jumping into my car more often than they used to. And that's fine with me -- they're exotic yet friendly, and an excellent value.

Tonight's stowaway was Celler el Masroig's 2005 Solà Fred, a 90 percent Carignan - 10 percent Grenache from the Montsant region. It's a dark plum color, medium to full bodied, with some good up-front fruit underlaid with a firm but not intrusive tannic structure. It carries a moderate 13.5 percent alcohol content -- quite a pleasant change from the over-15 percent New World wines that seem to be vying to be the new norm.

It's important to me that a wine have a good nose, and Solà Fred doesn't disappoint. I spent a good long time with my snoot in the glass, trying to identify the aromas coming at me. Blackberry and plum for sure, just a tinge of leather, and some other components that I never got around to identifying. The mouthfeel is good, and there's plenty of dark fruit flavor. Over the next few years this wine will soften some, but there's certainly no reason to not enjoy it right now.

At nine bucks a bottle, Fred is a wine buddy you'll enjoy taking out for burgers, pizza or tapas, or just hanging out on the deck with after a day of work.
M. Zane Grey, 9:38 PM