The Altes family are based in the Terra Alta region of northeastern Spain, not far from the more well-known areas of Priorat and Montsant. For many years, they were simple farmers (aka grape growers) who supplied larger wineries with great raw material to make their wines. Slowly, they built up the funds to begin producing their own estate-bottled wines and this is the product of their hard work.
The family specializes in Garnatxa (aka Grenache or Garnacha), and their vines are extremely old, with some of the parcels being 100 years of age. With age comes intensity of flavor and this is definitely a full flavored and full bodied wine. Famed wine critic Robert Parker said that the wine possesses “an intensity and richness normally found in $50+ wines.” He went on to rate the wine at 91 points and said that it should provide pleasurable drinking over the next 2 to 3 years.
The wine shows a nice deep ruby color and opens with a nose of kirsch, black cherry, pepper and smoky herbs leading into a dense, luscious palate of red fruit jam, spice and mineral. Sound good? Even better is the price which makes me think that this one won’t be around too long. Wines like this one don’t come around too often……….run, don’t walk to the store to pick yourself up a bottle or a case.