Agostón: Spain’s Wild Boar (and a great wine)
More From: Curious Wines
Posted November 2nd, 2009 by Matt Kane
There have been a clatter of additions to the Curious range recently, all of which will be formally unveiled on this blog in the coming week or so, but one we’re particularly proud of acquiring is a trio from Bodegas Virgen del Águila, under the name of Agostón – two red blends, a Garnacha-Syrah and a Tempranillo-Cabernet, and one white blend, a Viura-Chardonnay.
The star of the show is probably the Garnacha-Syrah, picking up Silver at the International Wine Challenge in London earlier this year. In addition to this, both the Garnacha-Syrah and the Tempranillo-Cabernet landed Gold Medal in Concours Mondial de Bruxelles this year, and received 5 stars (rated as “excellent”) from Guia Peñin (Spain’s reference wine magazine).
Sam’s Wines in Chicago summed it up: “Agostón’s two [red] wines are actually very different from each other, with the Garnacha-Syrah taking on an almost Rhône / Châteauneuf-like cherry and wild herb character, while the Tempranillo-Cabernet exhibits a startling Bordeaux-like character with its deep colour, currant fruit and mineral notes. These wines have the concentration, complexity and depth of top European wines and a startling quality that few wines (even the expensive ones) have.”
Can’t knock that for a sub €10 drop.
The vineyards are nestled in the folds and foothills of the Ibérico mountain range, which runs for 500 km from the Cantabrian mountains in the northwest to the Mediterranean coast in the southeast. This range creates a barrier between the high plateau of Castile and the depression of the Ebro valley, with peaks over 2,000 metres, and it plays a pivotal role in the climate and landscape of the region. The mountains are a fantastic backdrop to the vineyards, which lie within an area booming with fauna and flora. The wine region itself is known as Cariñena, which is also the name of the local indigenous grape variety.
The winery receives an average of 12 million kilograms of grapes a year, during the month-long harvest period. It has a storage capacity of 11 million litres in stainless steel vats and oak barrels. Fermentation and stabilisation take place under temperature-controlled conditions (whites at 14-16ºc, reds at 26-28ºc). Storage and ageing is subsequently allocated according to the types of wines created. The bottling line has a capacity of 8,000 bottles per hour. Not quite the 36,000 per hour over at [yellow tail], but very impressive nonetheless.
Click here to view the Agostón range.