Celler de Capçanes Mas Donís Barrica 2007: It's true what they say, this is a very good wine at a very good price. Notes of rhubarb, strawberry, graphite, and a little oak spice on the nose, then bright red berry fruit on the palate. Angel Teixido, Jurgen Wagner, and Francesc Perello are the three young winemakers who produce this and a bunch of other wines (including the marvelous Peraj Ha'Abib, aka the world's greatest kosher wine).
Read more about Capçanes here.
Bodegas Borsao Monte Oton Garnacha 2009: "Bodegas Borsao" is an amalgamation of three big cooperatives, in operation since 1958. They control about 3,400 acres in the Campo de Borja, most of which is planted to garnacha. Oceans of this garnacha are bottled under the "Viña Borgia" name; the Monte Oton is sort of the business-class version: Bigger, richer, more refined, with aromas and flavors of black fruit, anise, and vanilla. Now that I think about it, there's a real luxury-class version of this wine, too--the "Tres Picos," which is a joven (not barrel-aged) but sure doesn't act that way. Like its cousin from Calatayud, the fabulous Atteca, it is an unapologetic fruit bomb, its bomb-ness ameliorated by lots of mocha and anise and earthy character.
Bodegas Juan Gil Honoro Vera Merlot Jumilla 2009: I confess, when the bottle was put in front of me, I was extremely skeptical. Merlot from Jumilla? Well, Juan Gil and Paco González at Bodegas Juan Gil (and their importer, the ever-resourceful Jorge Ordoñez) are full of surprises, and this merlot is one of them, offering very soft but not jammy red berry fruit with just a hint of cocoa.