The Locations “E” (Spain) Red Blend is a blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Carinena, grown from vineyards in Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja, and Ribero del Duero. If you noticed, grapes from Priorat go into Priorat wines, grapes from Jumilla go into Jumilla wines, etc., etc., etc. That is – until Dave Phinney decided to do Spanish wines. With Dave Phinney, all those rules that don’t apply to California wines no longer apply to Spanish wines. Rules were meant to be broken and Locations Wines are a perfect example of that axiom. Phinney thinks that all great wines are made in the vineyard, so he chose his favorite vineyards, not his favorite appellations. Who says all the grapes have to come from Rioja, Jumilla, or Toro?, well, actually the people in charge of the Spanish D.O.s say that. If you don’t follow the rules, you don’t have approved D.O. wines, you have table wine! Any wine OK for my table is OK by me. For some reason, all of Phinney’s Locations wines are aged for 10 months in oak. Alcohol is 14.5%.
The color is black as night. The nose is jammy blackberry, brown sugar, licorice, and chocolate, with a late hit of strawberry. A sip reminds me of GOOD Tempranillo, which in most cases is all you need. Then the other grapes kick in and this is now a SUPER Tempranillo, which you would NEVER find in Rioja. Sleek, lean, and flavorful. Tannins are out-of-the-way, and the acidity gives this wine plenty of time to unfold.
The Locations “E” (Spain) Red Blend is an interesting, modern, unique, delicious and not very expensive (lists for $17) take on Spanish wine. The “E” blend is a conglomeration of serious and fun, Spain and California, and the contemporary way of doing things with classic grapes.