One of wine’s key quality factors is “yield,” or how much fruit is produced per vine. Yields are highest for cheap mass-market wines, as high as 10 to 15 tons of grapes per acre of vineyard land. However, the fruit of such high-yielding vines, often boosted by irrigation and fertilizers, comes up short on essential color and flavor compounds, producing wines that can taste flat or diluted in flavor.
Yields for the finest wines can be 10 times lower, which explains why they cost so much more. When vines are restricted to less than five tons per acre, meaning pruned back, dry-farmed, and not fertilized, each plant can focus its energies on properly ripening each cluster of grapes, which deepens and enriches the wine’s flavor.
Many of the world’s finest wines, from Napa Valley cabernet sauvignons to France’s “Grand Cru” Burgundies, are cropped at less than two tons per acre — a level that is costly but does make for luxurious wines that burst with flavor and resonate on the palate for minutes after each sip. It is rare to encounter wines made at this low a yield for under $20 a bottle, let alone under $10, but this old-vine garnacha is precisely that. Made by a grape growers’ co-op in the southern reaches of Aragón in Spain, this deliciously robust red offers concentrated flavors of red fruits like dried strawberries and pomegranate, with appetizingly meaty aromatic accents like white pepper and fennel seed.
PLCB Item #3404; Sale price through Aug. 2, regularly $11.99
Also available at:
Total Wine & More in Claymont, Del. — $10.49
Canal’s in Mount Ephraim — $10.49
West Deptford Super Buy Rite in West Deptford — $11.99