Alto Moncayo 2012 Veraton Garnacha (93RP 91AG)

Alto Moncayo 2012 Veraton Garnacha (93RP 91AG)

  • Size: 750ml
  • Item Code: 183684000037
  • Vintage: 2012
$23.99 Regular: $32.29
“Bodegas Alto Moncayo started in 2001 as a collaboration between importer Jorge Ordoñez, American importer Dan Phillips, Australian winemaker Chris Ringland and others. Located near the town of Borja, the 210 acres of vineyards are head-pruned, old Grenache vines planted at 3,000 feet above sea level in poorly nourished soils of slate, clay, chalk and quartzite. They make a number of cuvées, the most famous being the more expensive Alto Moncayo and the Aquilon. Their inexpensive offering is the 2012 Veraton, a 100% Grenache aged in 60% new French and 40% American oak for 17 months before being bottled without filtration. It is a powerful, full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal red boasting a dense purple color, and a sweet blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, lavender, licorice and earth notes intermixed with a touch of new oak. Stylistically, this is a modern, massively intense, rich wine that over-delivers in many ways. However, it is not for consumers looking for shy, restrained and delicate wines. It should drink well for a decade. “ (RP)

“Brilliant ruby. Expressive aromas of cherry compote, blueberry, lavender and peppery spices. Plush, pliant, round and seamless on the palate, offering smoky blueberry, mineral and dark chocolate flavors complicated by suggestions of candied flowers and licorice. Finishes long and sweet, with soft tannins and repeating spiciness. There’s a lot of wine here for the money.”(AG)

Ratings and Awards

  • 93 Wine Advocate


With 1,200,000 hectares, Spain has more land under vine than any other country in the world. As of 2004, data from OIV indicates that Spain has 35% more land under vine than Italy or France. However, due to harsh climate, historic setbacks, and past regulatory constraints on irragation, Spain lags France and Italy in yields and volume of wine produced.

Spain is also the home to many varietals. Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) are widely planted. Grenache, planted in Southern France, is actually Spanish in origin. Other varietals include Viura (or Macabeo), Albarino, Verdejo, Airen, and Palomino and Pedro Ximenez.

Note there there are many local names for the same grape. For example, the massly planted Tempranillo is known as Ull de Llebre in Penedes, Tinto Fino or Tinta Del Pais in Rebera Del Duero, Tinta de Toro in Toro, and Cencibel in Valdepenas!

Spanish Wine Regions:

  1. Rioja Tempranillo and Grenache
  2. Galicia & Castilla y Leon Tempranillo, Albarino
  3. La Mancha Various

Appellation Classifications

Like France and Italy, Spanish wines fall into a similar quality tiered system:

  • Vino De Mesa: Lowest, most basic table wine category. Wine is often made from blended grape varietals and regions. No vintage date nor associated region allowed.
  • Vino Comarcal: Like france’s vin de pays, the wine is associated to a classified region.
  • Vino De La Tierra: Equivalent to France’s VDQS — a category down from DO.
  • Denominaciones de Origen (DO): Wine subjects to rigid regional regulations on grape variety, yields per hectare, alcohol level, and production methods.
  • Denominaciones de Origen Calificada (DOC/DOCa): The most prestigious category created in 1986 to further differentiate the DOs. There are ~55 DOs in Spain but only two — Rioja and Priorato — are prestigiously classified as DOCa.

Unlike Italy, Spain does not have a IGT category. To differentiate higher quality wine that does not satisfy the criteria of DOC (e.g. producers in the DO regions want to use a different grape or vinification method), a subcategory within Vino De Mesa was created. These higher quality wines are allowed to have a vintage year and the broader non-DO classified region on its label.

Useful Terms: DO wine must go through a certain period of aging time. Look for the following terms on the wine label to assess the quality and complexity of the wine:

  • Vino de Cosecha: Vintage wine, with >85% of the grapes harvested in the vintage year.
  • Crianza: Crianza means nursury in Spanish. The wine must be aged in oak barel for 6 months and in bottle for 2 years before being sold to public. * Riserva: Wine must be aged at least 3 years, of which 1+ yr must be in oak barrels. * Gran Reserva: Produced only in the best years, with approval from the local viticulture authority.