Anciano Gran Reserva 2003

Anciano Gran Reserva 2003

Spain, $14

There are some amazing Sauvignon Blancs coming out of Chile’s emerging wine regions. They’re miles better but quite a bit pricier (at $20), and they make for the worst hostess gift you can bring. Unless they’re a serious wine geek, they’ll look at the label, see Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and think “Thanks for nothing, you cheap screw.” Conversely, this week’s wine may be the best (affordable) bottle you can give. You hand it to the host and theylook down and see Gran Reserva, 2003, Spain and that funny netting the Spaniards love and think “Here is a person of substance.” And you’ll have spent $6 less. You’d have to be a Wine P.I to notice that the wine is from the Valdepenas region, not the more famous Rioja that it mimics, and even still it’s an amazing bargain. Best of all, it’s very approachable—the age and modern winemaking have taken all the edge of this wine and the result is smooth and velvety trip with some residual spicy notes. It’s a laughably good bargain.

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