Spain is the new champion of crowd-pleasing, heavyweight reds with wines that often exhaust the palate after a single glass. But here’s an exception from a winemaker not crafting to popular taste. The wine below was a love at first sip for me ““ tempering the richness with an earthy personality. It felt real. Hard to say if this is due to the winery’s traditional winemaking practices ““ natural yeasts, clay amphoras, no filtering, minimal fussing, or whatever, but it has the feeling is of a red from the pre-smooth and boring era. Loved it.

FINCA CASA BALAGUER 18 Garnacha, Alicante, Spain 13624 Vintages $15.95

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