I have an admission to make. Even though I've been at this job for a long time, sometimes I am ignorant of the locations of specific wine appellations. Even in my own regional beats, with the growing number of Vin de Pays designations in the Languedoc and Roussillon, I find myself typing search terms into that magic six-letter word: Google. So it was the other day when I opened a Spanish red. Though the name itself was straightforward enough, Tres Patas (three legs, if my Spanish serves me well), the official appellation was a new one for me: Méntrida.
I have since discovered that Méntrida is quite a large winegrowing district in central Spain in the province of Toledo. Almost 60,000 acres of grapes are planted here—no small potatoes. Produced by Canopy, the 2006 Tres Patas is fresh and juicy, with vibrant red cherry and currant flavors—almost a touch candied, but within bounds—and a spicy finish. This red is a blend of 80 percent old-vine Garnacha (Grenache) and 20 percent Syrah from younger vines that are planted in granitic soils. Fermented in stainless steel, the wine then spent six months in 500-liter barrels. I rated it 88 points, non-blind; at $30 it is a touch pricey, but worth the search for its distinctive flavors. It should also benefit from some short-term cellaring and is a fine match for roasted poultry.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Canopy Méntrida Tres Patas 2006 (87, $30).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among Spanish reds.