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. I gave perfect scores to the prodigious 2007 and 2009, two of the greatest expressions of old vine Grenache from the province of Aragon that anyone could have desire. The both possess plenty of black raspberry, blackberry, kirsch and licorice characteristics as well as an undeniable minerality and precision that are remarkable given their full-bodied, massive concentration and intensity. This was a great opportunity to look at one of the flagship wines of importer Jorge Ordonez’s portfolio. Alto Moncayo is a 100% old vine Grenache cuvee (900-1,000 cases produced depending on the vintage) that is a joint project between Jorge Ordonez and Barossa winemaker, Chris Ringland. Five generations of vignerons have farmed over 210 acres of primarily old vine Grenache at Alto Moncayo, a wine that is produced from incredibly low yields... There are never more than six to eight bunches on these ancient head-pruned Grenache vines. (RP)
Sporting a touch more noticeable oak than the Aquilon, the 2007 Bodegas Alto Moncayo Campo de Borja (also 100% Garnacha) has blackberry, cassis, coffee and a touch of new oak on the nose. It’s ripe but also has a slight, firm, edginess that I think will round out with a couple years in the cellar. On the palate, the wine is full bodied with beautiful purity, considerable polish and a long, seamless finish. The wine is very pretty with the acid, tannin, alcohol and fruit perfectly integrated. Give this a year of two in the cellar and then drink it over the following 10 to 15 years. I followed this bottle over 3 days and it only got better with air.
Deep, bright ruby. Complex bouquet offers scents of blueberry, boysenberry, cola, dark chocolate and mace. Broad, sweet dark berry flavors display liqueur-like depth and power and are nicely framed by velvety tannins. A tangy mineral note gains strength with air and adds vivacity to the long, sweet, spicy finish. I'd drink this alluring wine on the young side for its exuberant fruit character. (JR)
Excellent Garnacha in very modern dressing. The nose is sweet, candied, lightly baked and rich, with hints of prune, coconut and fine aged cheese. The palate is smooth and deep, with blackberry, molasses and licorice flavors. Sturdy and studly wine, with weight and only a pinch of heat and bite. Six hundred cases produced; drink now–2012. (MS)
Rich yet supple, this expressive red wraps chocolate and cola notes around a core of ripe cherry and berry fruit. There's a firm but lively structure and a warm, spicy finish. (TM)
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