I get a rush when I find a great bottle of wine under $15 – a real rush!

I opened one and enjoyed it tonight. It was a 2005 Celler de Capanes Mas Donis Barrica. I had purchased it at a small Indianapolis shop for $14 – a stunning deal now that I’ve tasted the wine.

This Spanish beauty is a blend of 85 percent Garnacha and 15 percent Syrah. It’s an ‘old vine’ wine that got a 93 rating from Wine Advocate. I don’t always find the Wine Advocate or Wine Specator ratings helpful, but always curious what the so-called experts have to say.

Robert Parker, the Godfather of the wine rating systems, is the key voice at Wine Advocate. This wine, at this price point, is incredible grape juice for $14.

My old wine friend Dean Wilson at Deano’s Vino in Fountain Square in Indianapolis always reminds his patrons: “Don’t forget folks, we’re just talking about fermented grape juice.” So I have to give Deano props for the line!

First, let’s define what ‘old vine’ means – and it means exactly what it says. Old vines wines are usually more intense in flavor – snap them up when you can. Old vines produce few grapes, but grapes of more intense flavor. When the vines reach the point they’re no longer productive enough, they are torn out and new vines are planted.

“Old Vine” wines often have a big flavor with a smooth richness you can’t find in other wines. Try an old vine Zin and you’ll understand! And an “old vine” wine at $14 is worth the pick up.

I’ve really enjoyed Spanish wines for a couple of years now. I have enjoyed some great Grenache. This has dark flavors like licorice and dark cherry. It has a beautiful finish.

This is one of the best structured wines I’ve tasted in a long time for this price. Nice fruit, nice structre or complexity, with a smooth finish.

I must blush while admitting I’m not sure where I bought this. I’m going to double check next time I’m in the wine shop where I think I bought it, and I’ll update that here in the blog. I think I bought it in Indianapolis.

I learned today that my foray into newspaper column writing will debut in the Crawfordsville Journal Review and in the Frankfort Times yet this month. I’ll post those columns here.

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