Friday, May 1, 2009

Atteca Old Vines 2007 (Spain)

I find myself in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the hub of wine activity here in the USA ... alright so I'm kidding, but that still doesn't change the fact that I am in Lake Geneva (for those who don't know, Lake Geneva is about an hour or so outside of Chicago). While touring the area, which includes the towns of Fontana and Williams Bay, I came upon a store called South Shores Country Store, which claimed on the map I am using, to have a "Huge Selection of Wine" ... those who know me know this is a sure fire way to get me to search out and stop at this place in my travels. "Huge" turned out to be about 15-20 wines whose prices were mostly in the $40 and up range - I guess by "huge" they meant price-wise. Later in the day I was talking to a local named Debbie, who told me of a little place back in Lake Geneva called "Pop More Corks", she told me they sell a lot of "cheap wine but have a good selection". Now that's more my speed. I must clarify that by "cheap" Debbie did not mean bad wines, she just meant inexpensive because there was nothing "cheap" about Dave's place (he's the owner). He has a huge selection of wines, over 350 labels, of which 75% are under $20. Here I am in small town USA (Lake Geneva for those with a short memory) at this incredible little hole-in-the-wall wine shop with a proprietor who speaks 'wine' as well as anyone I know (well maybe not anyone, but he sure does love his fermented grape juice). He pours 8 wines a day at his front counter and prides himself on either personal knowledge about or a relationship with each and every winery represented on his shelves (mostly "small lot, small production operations", though some big names are represented).

Now that you have the preamble I will tell you that this is where I bought this bottle of Atteca Old Vines Granacha 2007 (along with another wine to be named later). The vines are close to a hundred years old, or so claims the back label, and the wine is an absolute Spanish beauty. Full-on black fruit and spice on the nose with hints of vanilla, cinnamon and black cherry; the smells suck you in, demanding you taste. On the palate it's super spicy with lots of lush, juicy blackberries and cinnamon, touches of minerality and a boat load of big, drying tannins ... throughout the night this wine opened beautifully, softening the tannins and bringing out more of that lush berry and black fruit along with a geat bittersweet chocolate note on the finish. As an aside, I spoke with my sweetie earlier today, who is not with me on this journey, she thinks I'm slightly off my rocker because I came prepared with my own Reidel 'O' glasses (they travel well) ... I'm thrilled to have them along if for nothing else to enjoy this wonderful wine. As for that wine store (Pop More Corks) - in the immortal words of Governor Arnold, "I'll be back".

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