A nice surprise, this Spanish cheapo. An unknown brand to me, and I’ve had no anecdotal evidence as to its merits, or lack thereof. I must admit I was drawn in by: A) The $5.99 sale price (a buck off regular) and B) the label-a pastel sketch of a table and chair on, apparently, a beach near sunset. Wishing very much to be seated in that chair, gazing out over the sea at sunset, I had to buy the bottle in hopes of being transported by the contents, in at least some small way, into that idyllic scene.
A little Googleing, and I discovered Rene Barbier is one of many labels owned by Freixenet, the makers Cordon Negro cava, the familiar Spanish sparkling wine in the black bottle. I also discovered that “Catalunya, Denominacion de Origin”, as featured on the label just under the beach scene refers to the Barcelona area in the north east corner of Spain, bordering southern France, and on the Mediterranean. So one can easily imagine this colorful little sketch, with the empty chair, being an invitation to come and sit by the sea, and sip some red wine. You don’t have to ask me twice!
Mediterranean Red is a blend of Tempranillo (one of Spain’s signature grape varieties) and Merlot. And it is deee-licious! The unavoidable word here is smooth. Velvety smooth. Not sweet, most definitely a dry wine, but no bite or harshness at all. Very approachable, to use one of the wine cliches, but it’s true. Nice fruitiness, nice full mouth feel, dark in color. But eeezzeee to drink…and enjoy.
I regret buying only 1 bottle of this while it was on sale. But it’s only a dollar more now, so I will fight off my inclination to buy only what’s reduced and pick up more of this on the next wine buying excursion. Because I wish to return to the chair by the sea, squish my toes in the shiny sand, and stare at the colorful evening sky…with a smooth red wine in hand.