Another trip down Memory Lane, courtesy of my local wine shop The Fine Wine Source. It really is interesting to see how, if any, vintages can affect a wine. I was in retail, my entire career, so I can understand how there is certain merchandise that one has to carry for the clientele, especially if you originally created the market for your shop. It is even better, if the product you have to carry is excellent. I applaud the shop for not stocking their shelves with the popular brands that are in all the gas stations, drug stores, grocery stores and big box stores. Their customers shop at the store for wines worth a drive for, and they know that they aren’t being price gouged either.
Bodegas Alto Moncayo Veraton Garnacha 2018 and the last bottle that I tried was the 2015. Bodegas Alto Moncayo was founded in 2002 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 (on that past visit), 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.
Bodegas Alto Moncayo Veraton Garnacha 2018 is a fine example of wine from Campo de Borja DO. The town of Borja has a long history going back to 5 BC and thought to be from tribes of mixed Iberian and Celtic stock. The Borgia family, that is famous in Italy, during the Renaissance, and produced two Popes, were of Borjan origin. The winemaking goes back to the time of the Romans and the Cistercian monks. Rain is scarce in the region, the low regions are of brown limestone, while the middle elevation offers soil of deposited stones and iron-rich clay, while the highest elevation in the Moncayo foothills offer stones, iron and lime. I had to show two different views of the label, because the pretty part, doesn’t identify the wine, unless you already know the artwork. This wine is made from vines that are thirty to fifty years of age. The wine is barrel aged for sixteen months. Even the second vintage of this wine that I had was delicious with a nose of dark fruits, and those fruits follow through on the palate along with a touch of chocolate, nice tannins, balanced with a medium count finish with terroir. Whenever I think, and especially when I taste Grenache (Garnacha) I always think of Thanksgiving and a roasted turkey, and some mental images are always there.