Two amazing inexpensive red wines to try very soon

I happened to taste these wines on back-to-back nights. It is so fun to be able to find excellent wines for an affordable price. I was in the Napa Valley last week where prices seem to by sky high across all categories of wines. You would never find wine bargains like these two wines in the Napa Valley. Anything equivalent in the Napa Valley would be above $30. These two wines are very similar in style, but they are two different grapes and are from two different countries. We have a phenomenal Garnacha from Jumilla, Spain, and a Carignan wine from Roussillon in the South of France. Both of these wines are amazingly good for such  reasonable prices. I doubt if they will last long on the shelves. Have you tried a Garnacha/Grenache wine? Have you tried a Carignan? These grapes make great wines and, if you have never tried these two varieties of wine, you owe your palate the chance to experience .

El Molar Garnacha

El Molar Garnacha

Casa Castillo “El Molar” Garnacha Jumilla Spain 2013 – K&L Wines $15.99

The Jummilla D.O. is a wine region located off Spain’s Mediterranean coast in the region of Murcia. Importer Eric Solomon discovered this winery and this beautiful and flavorful wine. It carries a whopping 15% alcohol but drinks much softer. I love the spice in the wine. There is plenty of red fruit to enjoy, but the spice just seems to carry throughout the wine. Robert Parker likes it enough to give it 93 Points. I go with 90 Points, and it’s good enough for me to want to purchase more. For a great food match, I like any sort of grilled chicken pieces to go with the El Molar Garnacha. Such a delicious wine!  If you are a fan of Pinot Noir, you’ll surely enjoy this wine.

The Tessellae Carignan

The Tessellae Carignan

2013 Domaine Lafage “Tessellae” Carignan Vieilles Vignes Côtes Catalanes – K&L Wines $11.99, The Wine Stop, $12.99

Can you believe this? Parker rates this wine at 94 points! And again, another Eric Solomon selection. The is 100% Carignan from 70-year-old vines in the Côtes Catalanes, in the Roussillon region of France. The wine is also spicy, less intense than the El Molar, with a bit more of a mixed fruit combination. It has great acidity and a wonderful feel in the mouth. I rate it just a notch below the El Molar at 89 Points. It is a great wine bargain, and I will buy more for my wine cellar. This wine is a natural with spicy grilled shrimp. Paella also sounds like a great match, as does grilled chicken.

A Safeway sale update

The Safeway has shifted gears on their 30% off wine sale, but maybe not completely. They advertise that all wines with a regular price of over $20 qualify for the 30% off sale when you purchase six, mix-or-match. But when I took a look around my Safeway store, I found many of the wines that are less than $20 marked down as well. For example, I paid $12.59 for some delicious Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc. For those of you who love sparkling wines for the Holidays, both the Mumm Napa and the Domain Chandon sparkling wines are on sale for $12.60 a bottle when you purchase six or more. Both are decent and tasty sparkling wines and quite adequate for celebrating.


  1. I had the 2012 Tesselae at a tasting several months ago and thought it was delicious and a huge bargain. Not 94 points delicious, mind you. My tasting notes also indicated “a slightly smoky, flinty” finish FWIW.
    Changing focus slightly, I scooped up 4 bottles of the 2010 Kirkland Brunello at Costco recently ($25/btl) and it is exceptional. Easily a $40+ value if not for the Kirkland label.

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