I am a lover of all things Spanish, but I especially love Spanish food and wine. Many months ago I discovered Despana, a fantastic and authentic Spanish food shop on Broome St in New York City that carries everything from Bomba rice and piquillo peppers to Jamon Serrano and a huge assortment of Spanish cheese. I make a point of stopping in to stock up on goodies every few weeks. Recently on one of my trips I discovered to my delight that they opened up a wine store next door. Despana Vinos y Mas is a small wine shop that carries a huge selection of Spanish wine. Their cozy little shop has over 400 different bottles of wine from all over Spain, and they are very knowledgeable about their wine and the many fantastic and varied wine regions in Spain. My only lament is that I was taking the train home and was only able to carry a box of six bottles back with me. Otherwise I would have walked out with 3 or 4 cases of delicious juice!
One of the first bottles I tried after coming home was the Vega Escal Priorat 2006. Priorat is one of my favorite regions, but there are so few values to be found in lower price ranges. The Vega Escal Priorat 2006 retails for about $20 which is about as low as it goes for a Priorat. The wine is made from 60% Carinena, 30% Garnacha, and 10% Syrah that is aged for 6 months in American and French oak. The wine is deep red in color and has a beautiful, intense nose of black raspberry and cherry with notes of leather and mocha. On the palate you get black raspberry, raspberry, and sour cherry fruit with a hint of dark chocolate on the finish. The acidity and nicely integrated tannins bring some structure. This is a really nice bottle of wine for right around $20.
From a pairing standpoint, this would go very nicely with a flank or hanger steak or it would certainly go well with some Jamon Iberico. If you live in the NYC area, definitely check out Desspana Vinos y Mas http://despanafinewines.com/ and pick up a bottle of this great Priorat value.