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The 2003 Altico Monastrell-Syrah is a concentrated, velvety dry red wine with a hedonistic bent. Big, balanced and juicy, the 2003 Altico offers up copious quantities of ripe black fruits, subtle earth tones, and peppery spice in a very harmonious format – not unlike the more refined examples of Gigondas or even Châteauneuf-du-Pape that one encounters along the Rhône. And like all of Agapito Rico’s wines, the 2003 Altico is eminently drinkable and utterly pleasing. It is deep in color, long on flavor, and as soft as suede in the finish. A blend of 60% Monastrell and 40% Syrah, this tried and true combination produces red wines of extraordinary texture and intensity. Serve the 2003 Altico Monastrell-Syrah Jumilla at cool room temperature (64°-68° F), and then allow it to open a few minutes in the glass before partaking. Enjoy!
The 2003 Bodegas Altico Monastrell-Syrah from Agapito Rico is an easy wine to like, with or without food accompaniments. Perhaps, this makes it a rarity among Spanish reds, which normally insist on food to be exciting. Nevertheless, the tasting panel enjoyed the Altico immensely with quite a few conventional as well as unusual foods. One of our favorite offerings with this wine remains lamb, just about any way one can imagine serving it. However, we also recommend a simple corn, bean, and mango salad as an alternative to meat. This salad accentuates the lush Monastrell fruit of the Altico; meanwhile, Altico’s Syrah lineage provides ample backbone and depth, not to mention savor and spice. So, if you want to or have to turn midweek staples like hamburger, flautas, ribs, or pork barbecue into a veritable treat, we can think of no better wine to assist you than the 2003 Altico Monastrell-Syrah. Buon Provecho!
Altico is the latest and finest creation to date from Agapito Rico, Jumilla’s preeminent wine artisan. Agapito Rico is, perhaps, best known for Carchelo, a moderately priced Monastrell blend that has taken wine critics and savvy consumers by storm, but this wonderful winemaker fashions an entire array of exciting wines. From 175 acres, located in a high remote mountain valley in Murcia, Jumilla native Agapito Rico fashions compelling Rhône style wines from varying amounts of Mourvedre, Syrah, Merlot, and Tempranillo. At Altico, in vineyards located at over 2200 feet in a desert like climate, the indigenous Monastrell (Mourvedre) thrives on its own rootstock and is farmed organically for nearly all intents and purposes. In addition, average yields are an impressively low 1.5 tons per acre, one of the lowest in Europe. Since its recent release Altico, a masterful blend of 60% Monastrell and 40% Syrah, has become Agapito Rico’s flagship wine.
For decades, Spain had been referred to as “the sleeping giant of European wine,” but with Agapito Rico’s Altico and similar like-minded estates coming to fore – wineries that have built new facilities and know how to craft world class wines – Spain is just now beginning to realize its enormous potential as a treasure trove of excellent red, white, and sparkling wines. In the case of Agapito Rico, it is a combination of excellent modern winemaking and an extensive acreage of old vine Mourvedre that lead the quality charge. Monastrell or Mourvedre as it is more commonly called internationally is responsible for some of the wine world’s ultimate crowd pleasers, especially when married to its soul mate Syrah. Consequently, with the awakening of this great sleeping giant, one has to wonder if Spain’s Second Golden Age is not already upon us. Enjoy it!
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