Bodegas Ateca Atteca Old Vine Garnacha 2016
Pairs well with rice, pasta, (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni), vegetables, mushrooms, stewed meat, sausage, pork, roast meat, red and/or white meat with sauces, grilled meat, and short or mediumcheeses.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I also tasted two vintages from the mid range produced with Garnacha grapes from vines averaging 60 years of age and matured in French oak barrels for some 10 months, the freshest of which was the 2016 Atteca, perhaps from a lighter vintage than the more concentrated 2017. The wine is now polished and feels à point, with a combination of ripe fruit and sweet spices that would make it approachable to a wide segment of consumers. It's nicely crafted and highly drinkable.
Bodegas Ateca was founded just outside the town of Ateca, Calatayud by the Gil Family in 2005. The focus is cultivating old-vine Garnacha, some dating back to the early 20th century, on slate-based vineyards at about 3,000 feet above sea level, some of the highest vineyards in the region. Clay loam deep below the rocky slate allows the vines to obtain moisture and the vineyards to be dry-farmed, lending to low-yields, intensity and structure.
The vines are bush-trained, dry-farmed, hand harvested and farmed without the use of pesticides or herbicides. The wines are fermented in stainless steel before being transferred to French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging.
Spanish red wine is known for being bold, heady, rustic and age-worthy, 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.
Of the Spanish red wines, the most planted and respected grape variety 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.