Alto Moncayo Aquilon 2015
‘Aquilon’ is the jewel in the crown, a selection of the best: the best areas and the best barrels from those areas. It is a 100% Garnacha wine from 60 to 100 year-old vines, and aged for 24 months in new barrels. A powerful fulsome wine in the mouth, fleshy and fresh, with a great concentration of flavour and excellent balance; it is like “tasting the very essence of the Garnacha grape”.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I tasted two vintages of the top of the range side by side, the 2015 Aquilón and the 2016, and I cannot say I found many nuances or differences between the two or even with the rest of the range. The ripe Garnacha produced juice with 16% alcohol that matured in brand-new French and American oak barrels for two years, and during that time the wine seems to have extracted plenty of aromas, flavors and tannins from the new wood to make them overtly oaky and very similar. The 2015 seems to have polished a little the creamy notes that were more evident in the younger 2016, but other than that, I'm sure there's a section of the drinking population that loves this style, but I find it increasingly more and more difficult to enjoy wines like these. That's without mentioning the price! Perhaps I'm wrong and these wines will be fantastic in 50 years' time, but from my experience, if wines are over-oaked, they remain over-oaked forever.
This plush red delivers bold flavors of kirsch, blood orange and dark chocolate, with light, firm tannins and juicy acidity. Rich and heady, but with enough acidity to stay lively. Drink now through 2022.
Bodegas Alto Moncayo is a winery located in the Campo de Borja D.O. It was founded in 2002 with the aim of turning it into a world reference for Garnacha wines of the highest quality, crafted from some of the oldest native vine clones in the area.The garnacha grape is one of the varieties that best expresses its terroir. Thus, the Garnacha of Alto Moncayo is different from the rest of the Campo de Borja D.O area. This is due to the very strict selection made from the vineyards, the type of soil in which it is grown, the microclimate, and the age of the vines. Located in Borja- the heart of the Campo de Borja DO . Vines are planted at the foothills of El Moncayo which is the highest point in the Iberian Mountain Range (2,315 m) and the winery's namesake. The region experiences a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Vineyards are planted on very unique soils of red clay (indicative of being rich in iron) mixed with red slate, and because of the hillside location are shallow and nutrient-deficient. The Garnacha grapes of Alto Moncayo undergo very strict vineyard selection, from vines planted as far back as the early 1900's through the 1970's. Only the most perfectly mature clusters are selected and carried in small crates to prevent crushing, where they are further sorted and selected at triage tables. Wines undergo malolactic fermentation in both French & American oak, and aged in new barrels between anywhere from 16-24 months. These practices, in combination with the unique microclimate of the area ensure superior quality Garnacha that is distinct from any other in the Campo de Borja D.O.
Known for its bold, heady, rustic and age-worthy red wines, Spain is truly a one-of-a-kind wine-producing nation. A great majority of the country is hot, arid and drought-ridden, and since irrigation has only been recently introduced and (controversially) accepted, viticulture has sustained—and flourished—only through a great understanding of Spain’s particular conditions. Large spacing between vines allows each enough resources to survive and as a result, the country has the most acreage under vine compared to any other country, but is usually third in production.
Most planted and respected is Tempranillo, the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Priorat specializes in bold red blends, Jumilla has gained global recognition for its single varietal Monastrell and Utiel-Requena has garnered recent attention for its reds made of Bobal.