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Alto Moncayo Aquilon 2002

Grenache from Spain
  • RP96
  • ST94
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Winemaker Notes

"The superb 2002 Aquilon is a selection of old vine Grenache from hillside vineyards. A gorgeously complex perfume of kirsch liqueur, black raspberries, cassis, minerals, flowers, and sweet oak is followed by a full-bodied, massively-endowed, pure, textured, well-balanced wine. Given the limited production and high quality of this fabulous effort, its high price can not be considered unfair. It should drink well for a decade. Australian winemaker Chris Ringland oversees the winemaking at this estate, a superb new discovery by broker Jorge Ordonez. This full-throttle, robust, exuberant, super-concentrated 100% Grenache offering may be the finest wine to ever emerge from this backwater Spanish appellation." - Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

RP 96
The Wine Advocate

ST 94
International Wine Cellar

Saturated medium ruby. Roasted blackberry, grilled nuts, minerals and smoky oak on the explosive nose. Thick, dense and creamy, with supersweet, liqueur-like flavors of dark berries and maraschino cherry lifted by a mineral component. Lush and mouthfilling but also sappy and vibrant. Finishes with extremely fine, powdery tannins and superb, slow-building persistence. This went though its malolactic fermentation in all new French and American barrels, but a portion of the wine was aged in tank.

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Alto Moncayo

Alto Moncayo

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Alto Moncayo, , Spain
Alto Moncayo
Bodegas Alto Moncayo is a joint venture of Jorge Ordonez, Bodegas Borsao and others, in conjunction with Chris Ringland. It is located in the town of Bulbuente (Zaragoza) Spain and the Denominacion Campo de Borja. 62 hectares (153.2 acres) of old clone Garnacha vines are planted ont he hillside vineyards oriented to the southwest. With vineyards located in three villages, a few of the vineyards are terraced. The winery possesses very unique soils of red clay (indicative of being rich in iron) mixed with red slate. Because of its hillside location the soils are very poor in organic matter and shallow. A few sites have calcareous soil. Nighttime during the summer brings cool temperatures to moderate the growing season and there is scant rainfall. The youngest vines of Alto Moncayo are 35 years old and the oldest vineyards are over 90 years old. Their focus is exlusively on Garnacha.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties...

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, The Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river which flows through the region. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, further from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

STEAQUILON_2002 Item# 91346

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