Four Sharp, Spicy Reds

A weekly roundup of wines worth sharing.

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2013 Altovinum Old Vines Garnacha Evodia Calatayud DO 
14.5% abv | $13
Made from 100-year-old vines grown in slate soils at 2,400 to 3,000 ft. elevation in Spain’s Calatayud region. Cracked black pepper, pink peppercorns, rose hips, and cranberry notes make for a zesty, spritely red great for rare meats and aged cheeses. A good value in an Old-World, old-vine wine.

2012 Scagliola Sansí Barbera d’Asti Frem DOCG
15% abv | $23
A substantial Barbera with a dense core of blackberry fruits plaited with leather and tea. Top notes of eucalyptus, juniper, and spearmint add dimension and interest, but overall this wine feels a little plush and obvious. Best served with robust flavors, like roasted meats or game rubbed with rosemary and cracked pepper.

2011 Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico DOCG 
14.5% abv | $26
Deep ruby color with notes of woodsy cherries, warm blackberries, tobacco, tea-tannins, and spice. Nicely textured, with a flame of tart cherry fruit on the finish. Decant for best aromatics.

2011 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel Sonoma County AVA 
14.5% abv | $16
A juicy Zin infused with spiced black plums and dusty tannins. Remarkably, this is a reasonable food wine, one that demonstrates that not all California Zin need be poured by the (single) glass.

 

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