2008 La Granja Tempranillo

Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Evaki

What They Said:

2008 La Granja TempranilloPer the bottle “La Granga 360, means in Spanish “The Farm 360″. It is located in a traditional Tempranillo grape wine growing region in the north of Spain. The little pig is flying because it expresses a song which the Spanish children sing when somebody has asked for something which is impossible to realize, has a dream or says something absurd.

An everyday drinking soft rounded, juicy red wine, with rich ripe raspberry flavors. A great match for barbeque roasted pork chops, spare ribs, sausages, grilled vegetables, and cheeses.”

What I Think:

This one is from the same producer, and the same region, as the company behind the Abrazo label and imported by Evaki who also brings other familiar names such as Condesa de Sarabella and Panilonco to Trader Joe’s. These wines are generally priced in the $5 neighborhood and deliver on that price point. That said, none have had me scrambling back to buy that next bottle. Most leave me with a lingering curiosity of whether the next bottle might be better. In a nutshell, they do just enough to make you think about coming back for more. With that context in mind we cracked the screw cap on this one.

On opening this one was super tight with the acid notes overpowering all else so back went on the cap. I tried it again the following night, what an improvement. The bottle description on this one is extremely accurate, at least the tasting notes I can’t really attest to the rest. On the palate you are greeted with juicy berry/cherry flavors that are met with a dry, herbal component towards the middle that integrates nicely. The finish coats the mouth dry cherry fruits that don’t necessarily last, they just stay. Literally. It leaves you smacking your tongue until you decide to wash them away. I mentioned early most bottles from this imported leave me wondering if the next bottle can be any better, I’m just hoping this one is as good as my first experience as it has the potential to be my favorite Spanish red in recent memory from Trader Joe’s. I’m going to grab a few more bottles; you might want to do the same. I’ll confirm with my 2nd bottle but, as mentioned, be sure to give this one some time (perhaps even overnight) if it starts off wound up a little too tight.

Rating: Buy It

If you’re interested in another take check out what Jeff had to say about this one on Viva la Wino!

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29 thoughts on “2008 La Granja Tempranillo

  1. I’ve had three bottles of this wine now, and it really is quite a bit nicer on day two. I agree with you whole-heartedly about the importer–the Condessa de Sarabella is fairly boring and the Paninloco are about the same (although the 06 Chardonnay that they had for a while was fairly good for 4$). Looking back on my review, I think that perhaps I gave it a bit lower grade than I should have. After a few bottles, I think it’s solidly in B+/A- territory. This is one of those wines that makes me try other 4$ wines and end up disappointed. It’s not Rioja, and it’s not going to knock your socks off, but we’ve all had mediocre 10-20$ wines that aren’t this good.

  2. I just picked this up from Trader Joes this past weekend and tried it last night. I let it open up for a bit, as I also noticed it was a bit acidic on the nose. I was pleasantly surprised, and a bit amazed at a $3.99 screw-cap wine being this nice to drink. I also agree that the label does a nice job describing the flavor. I prefer lush, fruit-forward wines that are not too jammy (less plum), and this hit the spot. I am going back for a case and handing them out as Christmas gifts for my family and friends.

  3. The Trader Joe’s Holiday Wines email had this to say about this bottle:

    An authentic Spanish Tempranillo for $3.99 ? Ha – when pigs fly! Point taken and transferred to a label that speaks to the lighthearted, straightforward character of this 100% Tempranillo from Cariñena D.O. in the region of Aragón, Spain. This wine is every bit as surprising as the label promises – and only more so as it opens up a bit (seriously, give this an hour, a day – and the fruit flavors practically throw themselves on your palate). It’s soft and juicy with nice acidity and moderate tannins. You might find yourself rolling it over your tongue as the rich raspberry, cherry and light spice/earth flavors unveil themselves. It feels good. And it drinks smoothly with a finish that…well, it holds on long enough to intrigue. Pretty spectacular for $3.99. Ha – an adynaton brought to life!

  4. I just received a bottle of Lagranja 360 for Christmas. I collect pig things and I guess the person buying it bought it for that reason. I read your blog about being better on the second day and wondered if you chill this wine, or remove cap and leave sitting out, or what you do to improve the flavor. I’m not that knowledgeable about wines, I usually try the wines at our local winery’s and they help me out. If you could let me know the trick I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

  5. Laura, nothing too fancy. Open it and have a glass on night one, if you like it have another…if not put the cap back on and repeat the next night. Just the extra air in the bottle with the first glass out gives the rest of the wine some room to breathe…

  6. I just bought a bottle of this at Trader Joe’s today, and wondered if I had wasted $3.99. Sounds like I didn’t. Maybe I’ll crack it open tonight. Thanks for the blog.

  7. as has been said here, let this breathe a while and what a pleasant experience! nice balance, fruit forward but not at all sweet, lingering licorice on exit. will definitely be buying again.

  8. Hey, Jason, I just got around to drinking this wine. I do love me a Spanish red, but must admit, I wasn’t as enthused as you were with this one. Perhaps I needed to let it sit around longer. Did you ever buy more bottles and see if they compared to your first?

    Oh, and yes, I quoted you on it on my blog today.

  9. I got two bottles of this wine at Trader Joe’s, and when I went back to get more, it was gone!

    Do you know where I can order more?

  10. I’m not as enthusiastic as you. This is a simple table wine with a clean finish. I’m not seeing the lingering taste you describe. My TJs seems to sell a lot of these, and the $4 price seems to describe its popularity more than the quality. But it beats most $4 bottles on these basic criteria: simple; no lingering, strange, or persistent aftertaste; affordable.

  11. It has not reappeared in Portland yet. Maybe I’ll ask my brother if he can check TJ’s in L.A.

    Thanks!

    Helen

  12. I bought this wine at TJ today as a last minute purchase.. I wanted to try tempranillo and it was between this and another one for 9$. I thought ‘heck if it isnt any good i could cook with it’. Was i surprised! Hubby and I nearly finished off the bottle but after reading you blog I think i will let that last glass sit until tomorrow night and try it. Am going to hand this out as well for Xmas along with some WSU Cougar gold cheese! ( had been handing out 2 buck Chuck but this beat it all to heck!!!) This wine is very tasty! Too bad TJ is a good two hrs away otherwaise I would hop over there tomorrow and grab a case or 2.

  13. I bought 3 bottles yesterday, opened two, had one last night with a friend and a glass from 2nd bottle tonight, a little time uncorked seems to improve the finish on the palette. Seems like a good wine for the price, took the third bottle to a family event, and it was well received by the red wine lovers.

  14. Just opened a ’09 version of this. A bit more expensive now vs the ’08 (4.99). Much better w/o any decanting than the ’08. Should re-visit this one.

  15. There’s also a 50/50 Tempranillo/Garnacha blend that they put out this year –I prefer the straight Tempranillo myself, but it’s quite good as well.

  16. Jon Q is right. Three bottle appearing at Trader’s in Centreville, VA. Syrah (Chicken with gold egg) is fair. Tempranillo/Garnacha blend is delightful (Zebra with red stribes)! For all of these aeration is a help but they need some airtime. Hats off to Sharon at TJ for the recommendation.

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