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Alto Moncayo Moncayo 2009

Grenache from Spain
  • RP100
  • WS93
  • WE91
16% ABV
  • JS91
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • RP95
  • RP94
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16% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is spectacular, and represents the perfect foil for grilled steak. Rich, full bodied and muscular, Alto Moncayo has riveting intensity and palate staining extract; this Spanish red is inky/purple, full-bodied, and rich. This pedal-to-the-metal offering should age handsomely for a decade.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.

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 of 500 grams of grape bunches per vine. There are never more than six to eight bunches on these ancient head-pruned Grenache vines. The wine is fermented in open-top wood fermenters, and spends 19 months in 100% new oak prior to being bottled unfiltered. The fruit is all destemmed. I tasted these ten vintages of Alto Moncayo in September, and I was blown away by how well they were showing.

WS 93
Wine Spectator
The espresso, toasty vanilla and licorice flavors are dark and sweet in this rich red, which features linzer torte, fig pudding and dried cherry flavors, with a plush, generous texture and soft, thick tannins. An extreme style, but sensuous and appealing.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Smoky, charred and minerally on the nose, this has a balsamic berry aroma and lots of dark spice. It feels deep, pure and layered, with flavors of wild berry, toast, baked plum and dark spice. It finishes big, with hints of rubber, blackberry and lasting spice.
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Alto Moncayo

Alto Moncayo

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Alto Moncayo, Spain
Image of winery
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.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.

Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Rioja also produces rich, nutty whites from the local Viura grape.

Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.

Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez.

Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

LOA113502_2009 Item# 113502