Wine Reviews Tasting Notes and Education for the Non-Snob, by Vino Joe, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)

A Fiery Wine – Garnacha de Fuego

Garnacha de Fuego 2006

Garnacha de Fuego wine bottleImporter: Tempranillo Imports (Jorge Ordonez Selection)

Grenache of fire! I guess that means it’s pretty darn hot in Catalayud, Spain, where the vines of this grape grow. Garnacha / Grenache is a hot weather whore of a grape, much like Syrah and Zinfandel.

Luckily, this wine outperforms the old Renault Fuego (with or without the biturbo, it makes no difference).

For the uninitiated, Garnacha is the same grape known as Grenache in France, California, and many other areas of the world. In fact, Grenache / Garnacha is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, though it’s most commonly associated with the hot, arid regions in the south of France, the southern Rhone Valley and throughout Spain. If you’re unfamiliar with the Garnacha of Spain, it may be helpful to know that Grenache is usually one of the base grapes of Cotes-du-Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape (often, these wines also have Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, and other grapes blended in as well).

But enough of the French version; this wine es de Espana, and does a fair job of representing the Catalayud region. Though “DO Catalayud” (“DO” is pronounced “dee – oh” and is short for Denomination of Origin) is fairly new to US consumers, in fact they’ve been making wine there for oh, about 2000 years. The region sits in the province of Zaragoza, toward the western boundary of Spain and sort of in the middle (between north and south). It should not be confused with Cataluna, which is another DO entirely and is covers several provinces. OK, enough with the boring details, let’s taste the wine …

Tasting Notes – Garnacha de Fuego

On the nose, this wine shows ripe black fruits: black raspberry and prune, with a touch of eucalyptus, pepper, and a smidgeon of earth. The palate offers a silky smooth texture, warm black raspberry, black cherry, and plum, with a touch of spice – maybe vanilla? Acidity and tannins are medium, appropriate for food but not so high that they’re overbearing when this wine is drunk by itself. Drink it with burgers, skirt steaks, cheese, tacos. At around eight bucks or less, this is a very good value. Yet another winner from perhaps the best importer without a decent website, Jorge Ordonez.

a-8 t-8 b-7 fc-7 v-9 ~ 89 Points

Find this wine at a local retailer using Wine-Searcher, Vinquire, or WineZap.


  1. I love a good food and wine pairing suigtsegon and this was great! I read it just as lunch time was arriving and coicidently had left over corned beef in the fridge and a few bottles of opened red wines so I decided to experiment a bit. I made a toasted Corned Beef Sandwich with Cheese, tomato and horseradish cream, then tried it alongside a 06 Merlot from Chile, an 04 Shiraz from Grampians, Vic, Australia and an 08 Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa Valley, SA, Australia. I must confess that none of them were what I would call perfect pairings and the 04 Shiraz was definitely the pick of the bunch, while the Merlot clashed a bit. I didn’t have an Grenache around, and we make some awesome Grenache here in Australia, so I look forward to trying your proven combination soon with both Spanish and Aussie examples!Thanks for the great lunch idea and keep up the great work with this blog!

  2. At first sip I experienced toasted dark chocolate and blackberry! I love the soft tanins and complexity ,…. and I found this wine for just under 5$ ….I’m hoping the next time I get to the store it is still avail at this cheapo price! An amazing bang for your buck at 14.5% ALCOHOL!!!!!
    post me your favorites please..

  3. Found this wine in a local store and found the “92” rating sticker on it (don’t know who rated it 92) and the $7.49 / bottle price so incongruous that we had to try it.

    It is no my favorite cheap wine! Very drinkable, good with food (burgers, rotisserie chicken, etc) and OK by itself.

    Oddly enough, I was on a LONG ski lift ride with a stranger a few weeks back. He mentioned that he was going to stay an extra day, his girlfriend would be annoyed but an expensive dinner would make it right. Then he mentioned that she likes expensive wines but he preferred looking for “value”. I mentioned that I’d recently found a $7.50 wine that I enjoyed , Grenacha de Fuego, and he nearly screamed, “I know that wine! It’s really good!”

    Somehow finding a wine you like that costs less than $10 makes it all the more fun – at least for me.

    Try it. I bet you’ll like it. If not go back to the more pricey stuff.


  1. […] all four have been exporting enjoyable light reds in the ten-dollar range. Try: Wrongo Dongo, Garnacha de Fuego, Zeta, Borsao, Vinos Sin […]

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