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Wine Finds: Bold red wines from the Mediterranean

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If you’re delaying travel to foreign countries, consider a tasting adventure of imported wines from areas you’ve never explored. Two appellations to put on your radar are Corbières in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France and Alicante in the autonomous community of Valencia in southeastern Spain. Both border on the Mediterranean Sea and are home to rich, powerful and very exciting reds. Corbières and Alicante are also known for producing high-quality reds that are excellent values. The following are two fine examples.

Château Croix d’Aumèdes 2018 Cuvée Réserve, Corbières, France

Bought • The Wine and Cheese Place, 457 North New Ballas Road, in December, $14.99

Description • Even if you’re not a fan of wine ratings, it’s hard to ignore the 97-point score, Best of Show classification and rave review from Decanter magazine. A blend of 40% carignan and 30% each of syrah and grenache, this is a sumptuous, complex red wine that’s soft, spicy and savory. It has an inviting floral aroma and tastes of ripe, juicy cherries and raspberries with a touch of dried herbs. It would go well with rich stews, cassoulets and grilled meat.

Bodegas Sierra Salinas 2016 Mira Salinas, Alicante, Spain

Bought • The Wine and Cheese Place, 457 North New Ballas Road, in December, $14.99

Description • This opulent, elegant red, which received scores of 90 points and above from several critics, is another winner. A Jorge Ordóñez Selections wine, it’s made from 100% monastrell, also known as mourvèdre. Well-balanced and complex with firm tannins, this is a full-bodied red with lots of character and a long, silky finish. Smoky and a little earthy, it tastes of blackberries and plums with black pepper spice. This red would also pair with hearty foods including smoked and grilled meats.

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The grape, known for its spicy, smoky wines with dark fruit flavors, is grown not only in Argentina and France, it's also grown in smaller amounts in other countries, including the United States.

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