Although the small Spanish appellation of Alicante may not be as well-known as the country’s more famous wine-growing areas, it’s home to some very inviting and interesting reds that are well worth seeking out. Located in southeastern Spain on the Mediterranean coast, Alicante’s growing conditions are particularly welcoming to the grape monastrell, also known as mouvèdre, that can produce robust, peppery reds. The following are two fine examples from the well-regarded Bodegas Bernabé Navarro winery. Both would go well with grilled beef and other hearty fare.
Bodegas Bernabé Navarro 2016 Beryna, Alicante, Spain
Bought • Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Boulevard, in January for $14.99
Description • This delicious, aromatic red, which received 92 points from the Wine Advocate, is the flagship wine of the Bernabé Navarro winery. It’s a lively blend of 80 percent monastrell and 20 percent garnacha (grenache) that has been aged in oak for 10 months. The result is a well-balanced, medium- to full-bodied wine that’s complex with firm, but not overpowering tannins. Tasting of dark fruit with black pepper spice, it ends with a long finish.
Bodegas Bernabé Navarro 2017 Tragolargo, Alicante, Spain
Bought • Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Boulevard, in January for $12.99
Description • Made from 100 percent monastrell grown on vines that are at least 45 years old, this is an unoaked, easy-to-drink red that earned 90 points from the Wine Advocate. It’s fresh, fruity and earthy, tasting of cherries and raspberries with lots of spice and a touch of herbs. Like the Beryna, it’s medium- to full-bodied and well-balanced, but less complex and a little rustic. It’s a very enjoyable wine with soft tannins and lots of flavor.