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Alto Moncayo Veraton 2003 (Campo De Borja)

The Spanish project of one of Australia's best and most influential winemakers in Chris Ringland who oversees the winemaking and broker Jorge Ordonez. An in-your-face, blockbuster Grenache that threatens to put this Spanish appellation appelation on the map.

Wine number two in the Garnacha Trilogy.  Alto Monayo produce 3 levels of wines, this is the first rung on the ladder.  The venture is the brainchild of Jorge Ordonez who has Chris Ringland doing the wine making.  Again the wine is 100% Garnacha, there doesn't appear to be a lot of oak treatment on this one.  Remember to decant, it seems that the grenacha based wines from this area really benifit from a good hour or so. Big heavy bottles seem to be in vogue in Campo de Borja, all three of these wines have thick heavy bottles with big punts and flashy labels.  A real bugger to take of photo of, but they look great.
 

A brilliant ruby in the glass, with aromas of dark cherry and mulberry, cinnamon and pepper with a wiff of old leather.  Smooth and well balanced in the mouth, there is a core of great mulberry and cherry fruit with some black pepper, herbs and gamey, animal nuances.  Tannins are there, but well integrated and smooth.   The acid was overbearing initially, more time in a decanter and the wine integrated really nicely.  The finish is very long, surprisingly long.  If you want to look at Spanish Grenache outside of Priorat, this is the bottle to pick up. Drink it over 5 years. 91 Points. Dave Worthington 
 

The lowest priced offering here, Veraton, is a 1,000 case, 100% Grenache cuvee. The wine is brilliant. The slightly down-sized yet full-bodied, silky-textured 2003 Alto Moncayo Veraton is round, ripe, and rich, offering pepper, smoked meat, licorice, black cherry, and gamy characteristics. Wine Advocate #166 (Aug 2006) Robert Parker 89 points