So… you wanna take some of my wine, do ya? You think you’re ready for that kind of stuff? Huh? Huh? Well, do ya???
Okay… I’ve always wanted to be a tough guy… but look at me…
So a Wine Guy is what I’ll settle for…
Every year I get offered a handful of bottles of this wine. And every year I have sold it to one person – me.
I finally have been offered enough to play with, and while I was tempted to take it all for my greedy self, I decided to share…
Bodegas Alto Moncayo Alto Moncayo 2009 – no review - $37.99 net
Let’s start with the basics, then I will expound on why I love the wine and have greedily hid it from you all these years…
The wine is 100% Garnacha (Grenache) from old vines planted in the small Campo de Borja region in northeast Spain. The winemaker is Chris Ringland, who earned his fame making full-throttle wines in his native Australia, including a handful of 100 pointers!
This is one of those rare wines that ticks the boxes for all the critics at the major wine publications. The Wine Advocate has rated the wine 93-95 pts for the six vintages reviewed. Wine Spectator – 91-92 pts for the past five years. And Int’l Wine Cellar (Stephen Tanzer) – 91-93 the past five vintages.
And here we have 2009… by all reckoning a spectacular vintage in general, but particularly so in the northeast of Spain… where this comes from…
Okay… so it’s good stuff. Very limited (only 600 cases in total). Highly allocated. Highly rated. At a price that is in line with national bests.
Now comes the important part… what the heck is it like???
This is full-throttle, hedonistic juice – a no-holds-barred battle royale for the senses! Decadent aromas of blueberry and blackberry mingle with lavender and gingerbread before the wine explodes and saturates your palate with flavors of the same. Let a little air come in… or a lot, this baby can take it… and a vein of minerality shines through, offering balance and complexity. The finish is loooonnngggg, with notes of melted chocolate and anise playing nicely with the fruit, herbs and earth. Decant for a good while, or do what I do – open, decant for an hour or so, then put back in the bottle and enjoy the next night! This is not for the timid! But, and here is why the wine manages to garner unanimous praise, the wine is balanced. Yes, despite what some may think, it is quite possible for a fruit bomb like this to retain balance. You just have to know what you’re getting into!
In this case… my personal stash!
I have a limited amount available to me. Hit reply if you want some.
For comparison’s sake, I have included reviews of the 2007 vintage from all three publications. (93/93/91 pts)
“Deep, bright ruby. Complex bouquet offers scents of blueberry, boysenberry, cola, dark chocolate and mace. Broad, sweet dark berry flavors display liqueur-like depth and power and are nicely framed by velvety tannins. A tangy mineral note gains strength with air and adds vivacity to the long, sweet, spicy finish. I'd drink this alluring wine on the young side for its exuberant fruit character.” IWC
“aged in new French and American oak for 17 months before bottling without filtration. It offers up a sexy concoction of toasty new oak, lavender, spice box, cassis, and black raspberry. Round, rich, and voluptuous on the palate, it delivers plenty of up-front pleasure but hides enough ripe tannin to evolve for a few years. This opulent effort is all about pleasure; give it 3-4 years of additional cellaring if you’d like it a bit more civilized. WA
“Rich yet supple, this expressive red wraps chocolate and cola notes around a core of ripe cherry and berry fruit. There's a firm but lively structure and a warm, spicy finish. “ WS