Monday, May 14, 2012

Las Rocas x 3

This label has gone ignored (by me) for the years since Parker first showered it with points, a move which was laughable at the time.  Back then I thought, what's all the fuss?  So, when these samples showed up, I was eager to give it another try.

Have the years been kind to Las Rocas?

The trio of reds that arrived represent a neat package of offerings at accessible price points, which you'll likely find between $10-16.  Just yesterday the local grocery store featured the red blend and regular Garnacha for $11.99 apiece.

Bottom line?  Still not sure why these wines merit all the accolades, but the Viñas Viejas is a good reference point for what's happening in Catalayud.

2009 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Red Blend Catalayud $12
Aromatics are inviting, but the grapey palate is simple, one dimensional.  There is an acidic line to it that suggests structure, but it fails to fully materialize.  If some call this "international" in style, then maybe what they mean is that it tastes like the trillions of gallons of central valley juice that is just that; juice. Improves on day two, or maybe I'm just trying to shake off the feeling of being mean.

2009 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha Catalayud 'Viñas Viejas' $16 
Pretty.  Bright, fresh, and floral.  A striking Provençal resemblance; blue and purple and fragrant.  Medium bodied with a dose of polish that lends it legitimacy.  Tannins grip on the finish in a way that lures you back for another taste.  The freshness is appealing, and the main feature happening here.  A vast improvement over the Red Blend, but not a standout.

2009 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha Catalayud $12
If the Red Blend is at the forgettable end and the Viñas Viejas is shows up with some polish, the regular Garnacha is right in the middle.  Fruit is the focus here with a healthy dose of the pretty floral characteristics that the Viñas Viejas has.  This middle weight does have a bit of grip to it, but falls short of noteworthy.  Again, stylistically akin to a lot of wines from Provence and Languedoc. 

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