Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review: ****+ $$ Atteca Old Vines (Grenache/Garnacha), Calatayud, Spain, 2009 - BEST VALUE

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By way of background, opening thoughts: I've formally reviewed one other old vine grenache from the Calatayud region of Spain and found it a best value.  Here's one that comes in at a slightly higher price point, and has some excellent credentials.  I am looking forward to it. 

Original tasting and review, September, 2011: This is Atteca Old Vines (Grenache/Garnacha), Calatayud, Spain, 2009, finished at 15% alcohol.

In the glass: Atteca is deep, dark purple, moving to opaque within an inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows brilliant aromas that flood the room.  Deep fruit, some cedar, eucalyptus and helium.  From the aroma, seems like this will be deep, mouth-filling, bold and alcoholic.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweet and fragrant mid-palate fruit; the sweetest, richest red berries money could buy.  Followed by soft, easy, milk-chocolate tannins that carry the sip along in a gentle unfolding way.  The alcohol never becomes apparent.  The finish remains clean and precise.  Big, perfumed, new world, bold and yet still wonderfully balanced. 

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus because it's almost to the point where you'd better not get between me and my bottle of Atteca!  A jaw-dropping best value at its modest price.  I mean, c'mon: a 4+ star wine made with grapes from vines over a hundred years old at such a crazy-low price point... jaw dropping.
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Updated review, over a year later,  November, 2012:  Consistent flavors, but subtler now, more candied.  Fragrant red berries continue to light the way to this full sip.  Sweet boysenberry and red currants.  Yummy.

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