Thursday, July 28, 2022

Tarima 2020 Mediterráneo, Alicante

A project to reinvigorate heirloom Spanish grapes results in a delicious summer wine.

A Pair of Rare Grapes

Tarima is a project of enologist and winemaker Juan Cañizares and a brand of his winery Bodega Volver. It is designed to reposition Spanish quality wines and recover old indigenous vineyards. I’ve had the Tarima Monastrell. In Spain there are many different names for grapes. Not only do the names differ from other countries, but sometimes from regions within Spain.

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The Tarima Monastrell (also known as Mourvèdre) was delicious and rocked a crazy low price. So when my friend Arthur (of Merlot to Muscadine fame) had a bottle of Tarima Mediterráneo to try, I was scrambling to get out the wine glasses.

The Alicante region is located in Southeast Spain. In this locale, the reds are made with Monastrell and Garnacha grapes. The white grapes are even less familiar, Merseguera and Moscatel.

Tasting The Unknown

Arthur was charged up about this bottle for good reason. He and Mary recently fulfilled their qualifications for the Wine Century Club, where you have to taste and document 100 different grape varieties to earn recognition. (I’m a proud member too!) They have eclipsed the century mark and continue to seek out exotic and strange grapes.

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The blend of Tarima Mediterráneo fills the bill splendidly. It is a 50-50 blend of Merseguera and Moscatel Alejandria. Merseguera is a little-known grape variety that grows along the southeastern coast of Spain. The grape is rarely seen outside of Spain and since it is lacking in acidity, it is primarily a blending grape.

After I unmasked the second grape, I realized that I had it previously on a trip to South Africa. Moscatel Alejandria is also known as Muscat of Alexandria. Muscat is a family of grapes that has hundreds of different varieties. Muscat of Alexandria has a high sugar content and is often made into sweet golden wine.

The Tarima Mediterráneo was a magnificent taste! In the glass, it is pale gold. Aromas of orange blossom and white flowers burst from the glass. This is a balanced sipper, with just the right touch of sweetness. On the tongue, this is a joyful and expressive wine. Peach is the primary flavor for me with a good mix of apricot with a touch of herbaceousness. Give a light chill to fully enjoy Mediterráneo (about 50oF ).

This gets two thumbs up, especially with a price of $10 to $13.

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