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Alto Moncayo Veraton 2016
‘Veraton’ is the third wine Alto Moncayo produces from the Garnacha grape, from vines between 30 and 50 years old, and aged in barrels for 16 months. It is a wine with an attractive collection of balsamic notes, of chocolate and black fruits, very warm in the mouth and an extremely pleasant finish.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.