Laya 2011

Reviewed by Neil Morris

laya-2011Style: Red

Variety: 70% Garnacha Tintorera, 30% Monastrell

Alcohol by volume: 14.5%

Year: 2011

Producer: Bodegas Atalaya

Region: Almansa D.O - (Castilla-la Mancha)

The region

almansa DOThe Almasa region was awarded DO status in 1966, however, wine has been produced in the region since the sixteenth century. The area, which lies in the transition zone between the plateau of La Mancha and the Mediterranean Sea, has always produced quite small quantities of wine and has long been one of Spain's forgotten regions. Recently however, new vineyards and wineries have been established, giving the region a much welcome boost. The existing wineries have worked alongside these newcomers to produce wines of exceptional quality and help promote the Almansa brand to a wider audience.

Production is dominated by two main local grape varieties; Garnacha Tintorera and Monastrell, which are suited to the continental climate of long, hot summers and relatively cold winters and the challenging soil conditions. The area is very dry and rainfall often comes in the form of short but violent thunderstorms followed but long dry periods.

There are still a comparatively small amount of producers in the region (12 at last count) but international recognition of the high quality wines means that they have already reached more than 25 countries and production looks set to expand.

The wine

This wine exudes quality in the glass with intense and vibrant colours of violet and black cherry. On the nose, it delivers fresh raspberry and cherry aromas with seductive notes of pepper, vanilla and floral spice. It is wonderfully sweet and fresh on the palate with a sensational display of fruit; smooth, well-balanced tannins and a background of spice that lingers through the long, fruit-ladened finish.

This is a really friendly and approachable wine that would pair well with a variety of food. It delivers on almost every level and represents excellent value. Is it as good as the impeccable 2010 'Laya'? - probably not, but that was always going to be a hard act to follow. The 2011 is still outstanding and there are very few wines that can deliver so much in this price range.

Rating: 8.75/10 (info on scoring system)

Bodegas Atalaya - Laya 2011

Price: £7.85 - www.vinissimus.co.uk

(based on 6 bottles including shipping to UK - subject to exchange rate)

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