Under $12 Deals: Spain Strikes Again w/ La Atalaya ($11.95, RP91)

September 13, 2013 Under $12 Deals  No comments

The complaint about modern styled Spanish wines is everything tastes the same.  And frankly, I agree to an extent.  The wines of Juan Gil, Jorge Ordonez and a handful of others do have a certain sameness to them.  Okay, ready for the “but”?  But buy a $12 California red wine and not only will it lack a sense of place, but it will also, with very few exceptions, lack concentration, polish, depth and finish – all traits that La Atalaya and other high-performing Spanish wines have in droves.

I guess the point is this: The wines might not be all that different from each other, but when they are this good, who really cares?  La Atalaya has the depth, concentration and aromatics of a $50 wine and it costs $12!  It’s made of mostly Garnacha (Grenache) with 15% Monastrell (Mourvedre) and smells and tastes downright exotic.  The fact that is was best on day 3, suggests that it will only improve with age.  Like many of the wines from Juan Gil, it has a bit of sweetness but the concentration balances it very nicely.  IWC and Robert Parker agree, giving it 91 point scores.  This is quite simply, one of the best wine values of the year, and one I would drink any time.

I’ll have more of the “same” please.

Buy Here:  2010 La Atalaya Red $11.95

Wine Advocate 91 points

“The excellent 2010 La Atalaya is a blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Monastrell, 40- and 30-year-old vines respectively, grown on chalky and sandy-loam soils and matured in French oak for 12 months, the varieties kept separate until the final blend. It is a little taciturn on the nose at first, opening gradually to offer blackberry, cigar box and a touch of wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with plenty of crisp blackberry and bilberry fruit, complemented by fresh plums and a splash of balsamic. This is very harmonious, the Monastrell lending the Garnacha structure and tautness on the finish. This is well-crafted and should age well. Drink now-2020. ”

International Wine Cellar 91 points

“(85% garnacha tintorera and 15% monastrell, from vines that are reportedly planted at between 700 and 1000 meters altitude; fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged in French oak for 12 months; 15% alcohol): Inky purple. Deeply perfumed nose features heady scents of dark berry preserves, violet and licorice. Sweet and perfumed in the mouth, with a spicy kick to the intense blackberry and floral pastille flavors. Clings and clings, with an exotic floral nuance carrying through the finish.”

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