Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Sunday last dawned mild and sunny. Later, an invigorating breeze set the stage for some animated conversation enhanced by a quaff or two of vino with old friend Milton.
Our second stop of the afternoon was Masía de Yabar Vineyards, nestled on the hillside above Glen Oaks Road in Temecula.
The winery theme is La Masía, the Manor House, the self-sufficient heart of every rancho in Catalonia and, later, our own southwest. A place where all are welcome and life is celebrated with a glass of wine, a little Flamenco music, and stunning hilltop views.
The winery focus is on Spanish varietals such as Monastrell, Tempranillo, and Garnacha, though they offered us a decent Cabernet and a tasty Zinfandel as well. Yabar celebrates the owner's connection to the wineries of Argentina, including the winery's Malbec sourced from Argentinian grapes.
The Monastrell, known in France as Mourvèdre, was interesting but TWC
kept drifting back to the Garnacha. The grape is native to Spain and ultimately migrated to Italy (Cannonau) and to France, where it is known by its more recognizable name, Grenache.
Garnacha is an intensely flavored black grape that thrives in arid climates with little water, making it an ideal grape for Mediterranean climates. It kept my attention and in the end, Miltie and I adjourned to the the portico with a glass of it, rather than a taste, and resumed swapping tales of the glory days.
Garnacha is versatile and a little tricky to get right. I've had some that were nigh on sink-pourin' and others that were quite tasty. This particular incarnation is one of the better ones that TWC has enjoyed. In the glass the Garnacha is a medium bodied, deep purple with aromas of black and red fruit. It is an intensely flavorful wine, rich and tart on the palate with a smooth, lingering finish. It is a sturdy wine that will enhance mesquite grilled steak or strong cheese (with a little sourdough and some balsamic vinegar).