I am trying two different wines at Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan and they are both Garnache wines from Bodegas Alto Moncayo and both were of the same vintage (2015). I wasn’t really sure how to react when I read the tasting sheet that the Fine Wine Source puts on the barrel for the wine tasting. They print out a sheet for the two barrels, because one barrel will feature wines from the Old World and the other will be the New World, and any area that is not Classic Europe, so hence the New World could be quite broad a spectrum at times.
Bodegas Alto Moncayo was founded in 2015 in Campo de Borja DO in the Aragon region of Northern Spain; and Campo de Borja DO was granted in 1980. While it was recognized fairly recently the area was recognized for wines back in the times of the Roman Empire. The winery is a partnership of the Andalucía winemaker Jorge Ordenez, the Australian winemaker Chris Ringland and Bodegas Borsao one of the largest and most influential producers in Campo de Borja. The winery makes three wines and I had a chance to try two of the wines, and all three are made from the Garnacha varietal, which is a grape that I enjoyed back in my youth, but I had no idea that I liked the Grenache grape, but I certainly loved Rhone wines, especially when I could get some Chateauneuf-du-Pape. While Tempranillo is the King in Spain, that honor in Campo de Borja goes to Garnacha. The vines just produce a big wine in this mineral-laden area that is basically rain-free, and both of these wines were logging in at a Proof of 15-16% which is quite heady.
The first wine that I tasted was Bodegas Alto Moncayo Veraton 2015 and my notes for this wine was that it had a big nose, dark fruits and chocolate and a nice finish. This wine was made from vines that were from thirty to fifty years old and aged in barrels for sixteen months and was I impressed. I thought boy, this would be a great wine for Thanksgiving for someone that wants a more daring wine to pair with a roasted turkey. Then I had the Bodegas Alto Moncayo Garnacha 2015 and I was just amazed at how much awesome this wine was compared to the Veraton. My notes had in big letters “DELICIOUS” and full bodied and awesome fruit and interesting terroir. Can you tell that I was smitten? The difference here was that the vines were forty to seventy years old and aged for twenty months in new barrels. The Garnacha is considered the flagship of the winery. Either of these two wines are worthy of trying if you can find them.