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This popular, punchy and plump Spanish garnacha is deeply coloured, full, rich and very satisfying indeed for the price.
Product Code: SP16261
View all products by Virgen de la Sierra
Formed in 1954, Bodega Virgen de la Sierra was one of the first co-operatives in the Aragón region, situated towards the north-east of Spain. The co-op is located within the Calatayud appellation, around 100km south-east of Rioja, on the outskirts of the village of Villaroya de la Sierra.Many of the company’s vineyards can be found high in the hills above this village, at an altitude of between 700-1100m. The bodega’s name is a nod to its location in the Sierra de la Virgen mountain range, which in turn gets its name from a shrine to the Virgin Mary that can be found around 22km north of the village. The path of pilgrimage to this shrine runs through the vineyards, and is marked with stone crosses. It is for this region the bodega named its main wine range Cruz de Piedra: this phrase means ‘stone crosses’ in Spanish. The soils in this area are stony, loose and very poor in nutrients, so the vine roots must dig deep to find the water and nutrients they desire during the hot, dry summers. Most of the bodega’s vines are grown on red clay with a high iron content, giving wines that are full of flavour.These conditions have proven ideal for garnacha. One of the main reasons this bodega creates such excellent-value wines is because of the age of their vines: 80% of its garnacha is between 50 and 100 years old, whereas the other main grape variety they cultivate, macabeo, is grown on vines with an average age of 60 years. After experimentation with various varieties, the co-op now also grows small amounts of tempranillo and syrah, which also work well in these conditions.Once harvested, the grapes are transported to the cellars, which have been managed by winemaker Manuel Castro since 2004. These cellars can hold 3.9 million litres, but the co-op also has separate buildings for bottling and storage. The winery is kitted out with modern technology and concrete tanks, and the Cruz de Piedra wines are cool-fermented and don’t see any oak in order to preserve the grapes’ lip-smacking fruit character.
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"Unkeen. Tasted cheap and average. I guess it is cheap but still not worth the price in my opinion"
Mr Owen Duffy (11-Sep-2020)
"Not as nice as expected. Rather metallic. Would not buy again. Much better reds to be had from the Society."
Mr Francis Glibbery (06-Aug-2020)
Mr Bradley Eagle (11-Jul-2020)
"Good value wine. A nice full red. "
Mr Stuart Humphries (01-Jun-2020)
"Considering recent ratings I have to say I was disappointed with this wine. I usually enjoy Spanish Garnacha wines but expect more depth to them than I got from this particular wine. Less blackberry and more plum as described on the label. Not as smooth as I had hoped. Still, it’s not expensive, so have it with some pasta or paella rather than bbq’d red meats or stews and you’ll probably be happy enough."
Dr David Ryan (30-Apr-2020)
"The wine presents aromas of bramble and blackberry with a light spice and herbaceous quality. Taste - tart cherry, ripe blackberry, with an almost peppery finish. Alcohol is noticeable but well-integrated. Gentle tannins. "
Mr Will Barry (08-Apr-2020)
"Part of a mixed case. Very berry flavoured on opening but if you can leave it for a day - and I rarely drink a whole bottle on one day- it softens and becomes smoother. "
Mr John Butler (29-Mar-2020)
"I agree with Richard, very good value. Really nice wine with lots of berry flavour. The 14% ABV does not overpower the wine. It came as part of a mixed case and certainly one to order again. "
Mr David Wesson (23-Mar-2020)
"Great value wine. Red berry fruits and a hint of clove. Full bodied and well balanced. Excellent value for money, could pass for a much more expensive wine."
Mr Richard Hadfield (03-Nov-2019)
"Lived up to the reviews offers value at a good price and hits the mark"
Mr Neville Clifford (17-Oct-2019)
"This is one of those wines which improves dramatically once opened and allowed to breath. Might account for the mixed reviews here. Black cherry and very dry, but quite a long finish once it's been opened a while. Ordering more. "
Mr John Sykes (06-Oct-2019)
"Perfect midweek easy drinking"
Mr Ben Marshall (27-Mar-2019)
"I was hoping this might become a weeknight staple but sadly found it thin and tannic. A bit of fruit but reminded me of cheap 90s Aussie red.
Hard to expect more for the money but think will stick with paying a bit more."
Mr David Walker (16-Mar-2019)
"Dark fruit with a spicy kick, this is a lovely wine for the money,
very easy drinking, very good value, I will be ordering this again,
well worth trying one bottle if making up a case, for the price nothing to lose "
Mr Stephen Sproule (14-Dec-2018)
"Reasonable enough, fairly full-bodied but a bit short of fruit."
Mrs Tony Butcher (30-Jul-2018)
"Colour: Dark cherry red with a purple rim.
Aroma: Succulent jammy raspberry and blackberries, herbal notes of lavender and black tea with liquorice, leather and sweet spice.
Taste: Medium-full bodied, alcohol is evident, abundant firm chewy tannin but tart acidity, unbalanced. Full flavoured, plum, liquorice, and raspberries with a decent slightly spicy finish.
Overall: Simple straightforward wine. Nice aroma and flavour, juicy and a nice aftertaste, all at a great price. However, the acidity made this disappointing. Sharp and tart it took away all that is good about the wine. Hard to recommend. "
Mr Gabriel Higgins (03-Jun-2018)
"Smooth, rich red. Decent for the price."
Mrs Katy Patchwood (11-Apr-2018)
"Quite acidic and unpleasant. Shame,"
Mr Steve Jones (05-Mar-2018)
Mr Charles Underwood (05-Mar-2018)
"I'm not sure what happened here. I bought 3 bottles in Oct 2017 and thought it was delicious: fruity and smooth. Bought 4 bottles in Feb 2018, same vintage and catalogue number, and find it completely different: thin and acidic. Very disappointing."
Dr Kevin Cheeseman (04-Mar-2018)
"Fruity and sharp, good value at £6.25 per btl."
Mr John Arthur (22-Feb-2018)
"Initial fruity aroma and some raspberry flavour soon died and the acidity took over the bottle, drinkable but unbalanced the acidity killed all, not an expensive wine but much beter Garnachas in TWS lists for similar money."
Mr John Wigglesworth (08-Feb-2018)
"Well, this is a bargain! A rich and robust Garnacha, standing up beautifully to spicy food."
Professor Alan Hertz (29-Nov-2017)
"Absolutely delicious and fruity and a snip at the price. Will be buying more!
Mr Ray Mount (20-Sep-2017)
"A substantial and fruity wine that is good value. Very pleasant for the barbecue evenings that now sadly fade away with Autumn approaching!"
Mr Michael Riley (31-Aug-2017)
"A villainous wine - as reflected in the price."
Michael M Steer Esq (07-Aug-2017)
"This is unbelievably good for the price. Fantastic smooth cherry taste. This is the best thing I've tasted in months."
Mr Ray Mount (12-Jul-2017)
The Mail on Sunday (15th Jan 2017)
Underfloor heating for the price of a tea light. Superbly warming. - Olly Smith"
"Absolutely excellent value for money, vintage after vintage. Always included in any mixed case that I buy."
Mr Peter Wooldridge (20-Sep-2016)
"the worst wine we have purchased from the Wine Society, sharp woody, not impressed. No one in the family liked it."
Mr Martin Reeves (11-Aug-2016)
"A great budget wine, savoury, earthy and grippy. Must have a good breathe though because initially it was sharp and thin - was so much better the next day."
Mr Anthony O'Halloran (18-May-2016)
joannasimon.com (27th Jul 2016)
dry, unoaked red Garnacha (aka Grenache) packed with black fruit, violet and
liquorice flavours. Bargain.
- Joanna Simon
"Dark purple. A pungent smell of Flowers and herbs and medicinal notes which are very inviting. The palate is somewhat contradictory to the nose, lots of ripe black and red fruit but it does have a green tinge too which makes interesting."
Mr David Peters (20-Feb-2016)
"Opened this as a neutral wine for the Six Nations. It's really, really good, and since re-checking the price, it's outstanding value. Will certainly buy more next time."
Mr Ian Oddie (07-Feb-2016)
"This is a fantastic wine, fruity and well rounded this is perfect as a good priced every day wine. I will be ordering more!"
Ms Clare Lewis (30-Dec-2015)
"Rich, fruity & full. Superb wine & excellent value."
Mr Neville C Roberts (11-Oct-2015)
"I found this wine to be a good value simple Spanish red, nothing complicated but has a nice red fruit character, easy drinking and just a good wine."
Mr David Mitchell (24-Jun-2015)
"A straight-forward hearty red, the fruit is in balance with the tannins, but no great aromas nor vitality, (tried it after 24 hours and it was lifeless). Nonetheless, it was a decent glass for a winter's evening and I think it would be wrong to expect much more, given its modest price."
Kevin Finn Esq (25-Feb-2015)
"I did not enjoy this bottle at all unfortunately. It was pretty tasteless. I left it decanted overnight to see it it improved but alas it did not."
Miss Kerry Love (29-Jan-2015)
"For an everyday, uncomplicated but enjoyable Spanish red, this is fantastic value. Have bought more."
Mr Jonathan Oakley (27-Nov-2014)
"Well all i can say is 'For the money, it is blumming good'. Cheap & cheerful, i will repeat. It is good without being startling if you get my drift !"
Mr Richard Burton (12-Oct-2014)
The Daily Telegraph (6th Jun 2015)
"Best wedding wines:
Juicier (it’s all about red berries) and more open and eager to please than
[other recommended wedding wines] which makes it good for a party when you’re
not eating food all the time. Also, a good halfway house between those who like
French wine and those who prefer something a bit softer. - Victoria Moore"
"Well... Tannins? Very smooth, as it is the norm with this grape, but a burning sensation coming from the 14%abv, well supported by the flavours of this wine though. Worth comparing with a southern Côtes du Rhone, for it is reddish for a Garnacha/Grenache, which I suspect comes from the fact they pick earlier than in the Rhône in order not to get too much alcohol. So, the alcohol bytes a bit, but the wine is otherwise superb for the price,"
Mr Vincent Rivoal (23-Sep-2014)
"I don't want to sound too harsh - this is not an expensive wine - but I have to agree with one of the previous reviews, the tannin here is a little too strong, a bit overpowering. A real shame as the underlying fruit is rather nice but it is completely drowned out. I'm going to try leaving the next bottle a few hours to breathe - you never know, the fruit may come to the fore - but if not I'm afraid I won't be coming back for more."
Mr Philip Todd (30-May-2014)
"So good for the price. Bramble, cherry, hint of spice. For under £6, shows you why if you join the WS you never need (or want) to go to the supermarket for a 'midweek' wine. Definitely recommended."
Mr Graham Schafer (30-May-2014)
"Definitely a wine I will keep stocked. Full if flavour and comforting! Rich flavours..."
Mr Graeme Grady (23-Feb-2014)
"The international wine challenge award tempted me toward this grenache and it doesn't disappoint. Great value, a nice smooth blueberry / blackberry mix. This is the sort of wine that naked would put out for about double the price."
Mr Jon Milton (30-Jan-2014)
"Disappointing.Fruity but I found nothing special with quite a lot of tannins.7.5/10."
Mr Andrew Swann (01-Jan-2014)
"This is perhaps the best value red wine it has ever been my good fortune to taste. Bursting with fruit, rich and smooth and with a lingering finish. Have not yet opened the Seleccion Especciale but will be doing so this weekend and looking forward to the comparison."
Mr Peter Wooldridge (27-Nov-2013)
"Grabbed a couple of bottles of this on a fleeting visit to HQ on Wednesday. Both consumed by Thursday night. Very drinkable and is now on my shortlist. Went well with a Bacon & Chorizo risotto and on its own..."
Mr Ben Freer (05-Apr-2013)
"Ordered one bottle only in mixed case because I tend to distrust screw tops. This is wonderful value and I will be ordering more."
Mr Peter Wooldridge (17-Jan-2013)
"More or less as described on the tasting note. Full flavoured, fruit filled, chunky with round tannins, almost New World in style. Good value, would buy again."
Mr Jeremy Gwyn-Williams (23-Feb-2012)
"We agree with the positives. On-form/correct, it's very enjoyable and very good value. Unfortunately, we've had duff bottles beyond the acceptable (say 1 bottle in 12), and for that reason we won't be buying it again."
Mr John L Moles (29-Nov-2011)
"This is one of my favourite wines of this price bracket. It's very light making it easy drinking, and it's complemented well by the richness of the fruits. I find the long finish on this incredibly moreish! Highly recommended, and excellent value for money."
Mr Andrew Blyth (19-Feb-2011)
"I bought this for my wedding after good review in the guardian and it did not disappoint - a crowd pleaser and an absolute bargain"
Mr Douglas Maskell (06-Jul-2010)
"I'm no expert, but I know what I like. I don't like a "rough" wine with too much tannin, I don't like it to dry out my mouth. What I do like is a smooth fruity wine which excites the taste buds and this I got in spades, it actually started me salivating as that fruitiness washed over them. I tried 1 bottle in a mixed case to see what it was like and will definitely be ordering more."
Mr Chris Hook (11-Apr-2010)
"Being no wine expert, I have found that many of the everday wines that I like have some Granache in their blend. On this basis, thumbing through the catalogue, I picked C de P G. Not dissapointed, I shall order it again."
Mr Paul Prager (29-Nov-2009)
"Excellent value everyday drinking wine. Rich and full, fights way above its weight, puts many wines at twice the price to shame"
Mr Chris Southworth (11-Nov-2009)
"I am definitely NOT a wine expert and would never have the confidence to say whether any wine had flavours of plums, violets, cinnamon or anything else, but what I can say with absolute confidence is that the Cruz de Piedra Garnacha, Calatayud, 2007 is a stunning wine for the price and is one of my very favourite everyday reds."
Mr David C Shepherd (11-Nov-2009)
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