I tend to drink Alto Moncayo during its first 5-6 years of life. Although I was sure they had aging potential, I did not realize just how much longevity these wines possess. They are generally full-bodied, powerful (with at least 15.5% natural alcohol), concentrated, rich wines made from very old vines and tiny yields. If you are not into flavor concentration or care about artisanal wines from great terroirs that have been ignored for centuries, this may not be the wine for you. Not one of these ten vintages was close to full maturity. The 2003 coming from Jorge Ordonez told me was probably the worst vintage in the area because of the appalling heat wave and stress the vines had to endure. (RP)
($43; 100% garnacha, from 35-to-92-year-old vines) Bright red. Powerful, oak-laced raspberry, strawberry and cherry preserves on the nose, plus a hint of candied licorice. Deep and sweet, the red berry flavors strongly accented by oak notes of coconut, vanilla and clove. Finishes sweet, deep and long. This is clearly made from strong material, but I'd love to have seen it without so much oak. (JR)
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