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Friday, May 04, 2007

Alto Moncayo Campo de Borja, 2004 Garnacha

There are certainly 2 kinds of ultra-rich hedonistic extraction bombs in the New World. Those that pull it off, and those that don't. Wines of this caliber at their best provide all the opulent layers of fat you could ask for, while not only hiding their alcohol, but seducing you into believing they have a sense of understated elegance. Needless to say, I am certainly an advocate of a wine that can reach such heights.

Unfortunately, the Alto Moncayo does not. It's saturated, black and purple to the rim, and demonstrably heady. There is an exotic & severely extracted quality to the blue and purple fruits that evoke notions of wild berry, huckleberry, white fudge block and ground clove. My nostrils begin to burn a tad from the blatant, syrupy fumes.

The initial attack is pleasant, w/ sweet blackberry jam and kirsch flavors, that become amorphous and coarse as the wine travels to the mid palate. The wine morphs into an over-blown red zin from Rosenblum and severely hides the subtle grenache flavors of roast beef, black pepper and citrus. The finish is muted, buried and clipped by alcoholic fumes.

The points this wine merits are solely on ambition, as it wasn't terrible to taste, but the coarse, bitter extraction and disjointment fully keep this wine in the pass category. A severely disappointing effort (due to expectations). 84 points.


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