B Sides Episode 8
2017 Bodegas Ateca “Honoro Vera” Grenacha Calatayud D.O. and M. Ward
More Spanish wine and a new M. Ward album, no complaints to be had here.
M. Ward has a new album out, “Migration Stories.” M. Ward, for those who do not know, is an indie folk singer. He has been around for some time and has a very distinct sound: lo-fi and reverb heavy mixed with beautiful opulent arrangements; a crooning troubadour if there ever was one in modern music. His album “Hold Time” is probably in the top twenty but that list is near impossible for me to make. This album follows in the same steps. I would have liked for him to bring something new to the table here, but he still makes pretty songs. I got the sense while listening that this is the final album of the night. The music you put on after everyone has left the party and you are winding down with your final glass or two before going to bed. Check it out. Let me know what you think.
I’m going to be honest, had this bottle not come in this case, I wouldn’t have purchased it. The label is loud and interesting which at times I find myself shying away from as this can be a technique of cheap wines to make them more enticing; all show, no go. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I am so glad.
The 2017 Honoro Vera Garnacha is produced by Ateca Winery in Calatayud, Spain and is a D.O. wine. It is 100% Garnacha (Grenache) grown in heavy rock and clay soil at 2300ft to 3300ft above sea level. The climate here, because of its elevation and how far it is from the sea, is hot and continental. Continental means that the swing from the hottest and coldest point of the day is awfully close. It spends 15 days in stainless for fermentation and then 2 months in French oak.
On the nose, notes of brown sugar, cinnamon, black pepper, and dry earth. It was surprising how much the aroma jumped out of the glass. Like I said, my expectations were low and this knocked me back on my heels. I expected a greater presence of fruit notes but surprised how little there was. It leaned heavily toward that dry earth, like you could smell the heat and dry conditions it was grown. The palate is fantastic. Rich cranberry, leather, milk chocolate, currants. The tannins are firm up front, fade toward the mid palate where the acid takes over. Again, the minerality, the soil, really comes through on the longer finish. This wine is really pretty, and I would highly recommend it.
Until next time, Cheers.