2006 Viñedos de Ithaca "Penelope" Garnatxa Blanca (Previously $30)
These may be sweet wines ("dessert wines" if you must) but they are an amazing value, and in a year of many values I’d be hard pressed to think of one that is quite as much a steal as these wines are. You may be familiar with Viñedos de Ithaca, located just outside the beautiful town of Gratallops in Priorat (we carry their "Akyles" as well as the Garnatxa Blanca). Owner Joseph Puig is Priorat's renaissance man. At Viñedos de Ithaca, he is up to something truly unique in the warm, steep, slate terraces of Priorat, growing a diverse variety of grapes which include typical varieties (Garnacha, Cariñena, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon) as well as some more unusual ones (Touriga Nacional, Pedro Ximenez, Garnatxa Peluda Garnatxa Blanca, ). Puig's daughter Sylvia makes the wine, and if you have tasted any of them you know how effortlessly balanced and expressive they are. 100% garnacha blanca that is picked late in the harvest, from a 75 year old vineyard composed of slate soil. It is vinifed entirely in steel and the sweetness is perfectly balanced by fruit and acid; this is no cloying sweet wine and it functions beautifully as a sweet aperitif. Alternatively, it will beautifully accompany cheeses or make for a delicious foil to your favorite seasonal fruit cobblers, tarts, and pies.