Wine of the Week: Vara, Tinto Especial 2020

By Dirk Smits

American Red Wine | August 14, 2023


The roots of American winegrowing can be traced back to New Mexico, where the first Vitis Vinifera vines were planted in 1649 by Spanish missionaries who came to the now-state. Over the course of the next few centuries, the vines slowly but surely made their way up to California, where they served as the base for West Coast winemaking. Through this process of viticultural migration, the oenological histories of Spain, California and New Mexico became forever entwined.

Albuquerque-based Vara Winery & Distillery honors this heritage through its wines. Blended with grapes from Spain and California at its winery in New Mexico, Vara’s bottlings reflect the story of the land on which they are made. Made by pedigreed industry winemaking veterans—including Bob Lindquist and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist—Vara wines transcend traditional notions of terroir to bottle a piece of history.


Origin: Spain and California
Varietal: 29% Cariñena and 28% Mencia from Spain, with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Tempranillo from Central California. The blend is rounded out with 8% Garnacha, 5% Syrah and 5% Merlot from the Montsant DO of Spain.
Price: $45.00
ABV: 14.4%

This interesting ruby red wine boasts blackberry, cassis and spicy aromas. The palate is layered with dark blue fruit, spice, savory, fine tannins and good acidity.

> For more information, visit Vara Winery official website.

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