Sorry, should be ‘Caño’, but I wasn’t sure the correct spelling would be spotted by the search engines. And the retailer has allowed themselves to spell it wrong, so I think I can get away with it too.
The target for this wine has to be to offer better value for money than a price-conscious Rioja Joven (young Rioja). The Tempranillo-Garnacha blend is typical for that style, but this one is from Toro, an up-and-coming wine region in Spain already noted for the quality of its Tempranillo. But Toro is nowhere near as well known as Rioja, yet. So priced at £6.99 normally, and snapped up on offer (by me) at £4.99, the target I’ve just set for this wine shouldn’t be too stretching.
That’s probably why I was quite disappointed. Unlike many sub-£5 wines, it has flavour. It’s just that it’s a bit weird.
The dominant flavour, just about, is cherry. But it’s not clean, precise and juicy, it’s more like the chemically stuff in a cherry-flavoured fizzy drink. And sadly, things gets worse. There’s a herbal / medicinal note, not unlike fennel. That might be quite welcome in some wines: it might add an extra, interesting dimension to a citrussy white for example. But it’s an uninvited and unwelcome guest in a cherry(ade)-driven wine.
That’s not the only fault either. Tempranillo and Garnacha are both varieties that can struggle to retain a good level of acidity as they ripen. Not such a problem with Garnacha as it tends to be rather low in tannin (the mouth drying effect) as well, but Tempranillo can provide a significant hit of tannin. And the maker of Caño has fallen into the trap. They’ve extracted some moderate yet grippy tannins from the Tempranillo, but there’s nowhere near enough acidity to wash them away.
To sum up, this wine dries out your mouth while you try to enjoy the taste of cherryade and fennel. Not for me. I’m sure Toro can do better, at keen prices as well as higher ones.