Clarifiying Cariñena's Contradictions
Northeastern Spain's Cariñena region takes its name from a black grape variety supposedly "born" - or at least originally discovered - there, even if a different black grape variety, Garnacha, is the dominant grape in the region today. While it follows easily enough that a region known for its red wine production may also make rosado, or rosé, it might be surprising that there's white wine crafted there, too.
In the end, this all seems very natural. After all, wine - from anywhere - is full of contradictions!
Grandes Vinos y Viñedos 2018 Garnacha Rosé El Circo Payaso Cariñena 13%
A joyful mouthful of exotic spice, sappy strawberry and juicy watermelon, this is a delightfully vinous rosado. It's youthful and easy-going, yet its concentrated, solid finish shows that it has plenty of character to be reckoned with. This is toothsome enough to drink on its own; it is a rosado with substantial personality and lots of flavor that poses a welcome contrast to the waif-y rosés of questionable quality trying to slide by on the coattails of others these days.
Bodegas San Valero 2017 Chardonnay Particular Cariñena 12.5%
This is Chardonnay through and through. Its sunny Spanish origins show through its aromas and palate feel. It starts with oodles of mealy yellow apples and sweet spice flavors lifted by a pleasant ping of minerality. The broad and chewy palate surprises given its relatively reserved alcohol level. The finish recedes quickly but is clean and lifting thanks to some citrus peel verve.