Two wine icons team up on bold, artistic Veraton

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Intense flavor: The 2009 Alto Moncayo Veraton is described as succulent and powerful with a wealth of full-blown fruit. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media

The 2009 Alto Moncayo Veraton is the collaboration between two iconic visionaries in the wine world, Jorge Ordonez and Chris Ringland. The foundation of this wine from Campo De Borja, Spain, is Grenache, which is recognized as Garnacha in Spain. Grenache has been used as a blending varietal for centuries, but within Spain it has achieved a profound identity by itself. Winemaking in Campo de Borja dates back to the 12th century and it is spoken of as the “Empire of Garnacha.” The high altitudes, hot, dry wind blown summers along with the red slate and clay soils are the essential elements for extracted Garnacha. There remain only 17 wineries within this region, with the highest vineyards on the Moncayo Mountains.

Ordonez brought notoriety to the wines of Spain infusing a new-world style into what once was thought of as an old-world market. Ringland achieved his fame mastering old vine Shiraz from Australia’s Barossa Valley. He has been the recipient of numerous perfect scores from wine writer and guru Robert Parker. Together this team has assembled a portfolio of top medalists.

The 2009 Alto Moncayo “Veraton” is the younger, youthful sibling of its big brother Alto Moncayo. The youngest vines are 35 years old with older vines being over 90 years old. The label is bold and artistic as is this 100 percent Garnacha. Opaque to dark purple in color, with a fragrance of lavender and anise. Succulent and powerful with a wealth of full blown fruit. Wild boysenberry, blackberry liqueur, and black cherry compote are intermixed into this superbly concentrated and full-throttle wine. You can experience the evolution of Spain and what has become enthralling to the American public.

Suggested Retail: $28.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.