The 2012 Bodegas Atalaya Laya Red is a blend of 70% Garnacha Tintorera (also called Alicante Bouschet) and 30% Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre) sourced from vineyards in the Almansa D.O. of the Castile-La Mancha region of eastern Spain. Garnacha Tintorera is a hybrid, it is a cross between Garnacha and Petit Bouschet. It was created in France to be resistant to disease, but is now mainly grown in the Almansa area of Spain. Bodegas Atalaya is part of the Gil Family Estates, you may have seen Bodegas Juan Gil wines at your local wine shop. This blend is aged in French oak barrels for 4 months and has an alcohol content of 14.5%. This is a wine you should be able to find for 7 or 8 bucks and has received 90 points by Wine Advocate, not bad for an under $10 Red.
The color is blood plasma red with a pink halo. The nose is red berries and spice, along with cold coffee and herbs. This blend has bright, ripe fruit flavors, it starts with raspberry, strawberry, licorice, a little espresso and blackberry. The mid palate adds smooth blueberry and pepper spice. The tannins are there, you can sense them, but they do not bite and the acidity is well balanced. The finish is full and long.
The 2012 Bodegas Atalaya “Laya” Red is a very solid, well made wine, if someone handed you a glass and told you it came from an $18 bottle of wine, you wouldn’t doubt it. There are bargains to found with Spanish wine, their economy is having problems and they need to sell wine to boost Trade. If you are hung up on having to have Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Malbec Red wines and won’t take a chance on grape varietals that are outside the norm, you are missing out. I can think of several Spanish wines that are ten bucks, but taste like twenty bucks. Take a chance on Spanish wines, I think you will like it.