Thursday, July 28, 2011

Atteca Old Vines Garnacha Calatayud 2008

I am admittedly a huge fan of Spain and Garnacha or Grenache as the French call it, and I love the different expressions of this grape that you will find from varied terroirs in different parts of the world. This native Spanish grape makes wines that are varied in flavors, body, and other characteristics, but to me so many delicious examples can be found throughout the wine world but especially in northeast Spain and southern France. Flavors can range from light red berries to intense dark fruits with all sorts of other elements mixed in. Garnacha is also believed to be heavily influenced by the age of the vines. Many Garnachas claim to be made from "old vines" which is a term that is hard to define, but I found many of these old vine Garnachas to be easy to enjoy.

The Atteca Old Vines Garnacha is made from grapes grown in a hillside vineyard 3000 feet above sea level in the little known but up and coming region of Calatayud. The vineyard was first planted in the late 19th century and many of the vines are 80 years old or even older. In your glass the wine has a very deep garnet color that is slightly tinted purple. The nose brings mixed red and black berries with a pleasant herbal element that I might call garrigue if this were a Southern Rhone Grenache. On the palate I get some really nice blackberry and black cherry fruit that is backed up by very nice tannins. There is also a nice mineral element that really comes through on the rather long finish.

Overall this is a great wine with some up very nice fruit up front and a rocking finish! I would put this up against a lot of $30 to $50 Priorats or Chateuneuf-du-Papes, and I picked this up for $15! This is a great value that would pair very nicely with grilled red meats. Go get yourself a bottle and a nice steak and enjoy!


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