35 dollars: Bodegas Atteca "Atteca" Old Vines 2012
NEW ERA WINE SCORES GRAND TOTAL: 87.5 points. Smoking wine, smoking value. Barrel aged, ancient vine Grenache up to 130-years-old. Extraordinary opulence and dominant personality. Not shy but a lot of pleasure here. Huge bang for buck.
Price per bottle: $35
Region: Calatayud, central northern Spain.
Grape varieties: Grenache.
Closure: Natural cork.
Drinking window: 2017 to 2025
1)Aromatic intensity, up to 5 points.
5 points. Jumps out the glass.
2) Aromatic complexity, up to 5 points.
4 points. Complex if dominated by the coffee, smoky oak, chocolate combo.
3)Aromatic attractiveness, up to 20 points.
18.5 points. Sexy as.
4)Palate intensity, up to 5 points.
4 points. Solid. Firm.
5)"Mouthscape" or "palate complexity", i.e. how much of an interesting experience in the mouth a wine delivers, up to 5 points.
3.5 points. Straight forward and very nice.
6)Drinkability, i.e. how much the wine's total taste characteristics leave you thirsting for more, up to 20 points.
18 points. Wickedly drinkable.
7)The morning-after test, i.e. how this wine looks on the second day after opening and beyond, up to 5 points.
4 points, provisional. Has gas in the tank.
8)Cellarability, up to 10 points.
7.5 points. Can picture this going ten years. Could build a very fine “gentleman’s club” kind of style.
9)Individuality or how distinct the personality of a particular wine is, up to 10 points.
7 points. Such ripeness and finesse is rare.
10) Look, packaging, label, up to 5 points.
3.5 points. Dark and classy.
11) Environmental credentials, story, philosophy, history, brand weight, up to 10 points.
100+-year-old vines from Grenache heartland on very high land (over 1000m asl) is the kind of back label info that gets a wine nerd like me excited. And this wine delivers on the expectation. A well written back label too. 8 points.
12) SUBTOTAL: Add together the individual scores from points 1 to 11, above. Subtotal is scored out of 100 possible points.
1 Value-for-money, take SUBTOTAL and divide by price to give X, then multiply X by 2. 2X is the value for money score.
2 The grand total NEWS value for a given wine is the product of SUBTOTAL + the value-for-money score.
Below 70: May have outstanding features but also some drawbacks and I couldn’t recommend it in confidence.
80-89 highly recommended
90+ points: Remarkable wine. Theoretically a score over 100 is possible once the value-for-money factor is taken into account. Something around 105 would be the upper limit of perfection.