Honoro Vera Garnacha is one of the first bottles we tasted and shelved in the store and I don't see a day in the future when a bottle of this near perfect wine for $9.99 is not on the shelf. Honoro Vera is 100% Garnacha with a nose and palate of full on cherries and blackberries with just a touch of pepper. But what sets this Garnacha apart is that the fruit is full and lush but the wine is dry. But don't take my word for it. Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar gave Honoro Vera Garnacha 90 points and when asked for pairing suggestions, Tanzer pretty much said what cannot be paried with this bottle? And then Hollywoood weighed in putting this Honoro Vera Garnacha sur la table! Described variously but always sending the same message by numerous critics as "best value" or "a steal," there really is only one word for this wine, this presentation, this story: WOW.
Lately it seems like I've been writing a lot about wines from Aragón, but honestly, it's not motivated by a pride of living in Aragón or anything like that, it just so happens that they are receiving all the praise in the U.S.
Borsao Selección and Tres Picos, both of Bodegas Borsao, from the D. O. Campo de Borja, have led the way in the U.S., receiving high points from The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, but now they are joined by Honoro Vera, a young and vibrant red wine from the Ateca winery in Calatayud, Aragón, Spain.
Honoro Vera has been chosen by Wolfgang Puck to accompany the dishes in the Governor's Ball with more than 1,500 guests after the Oscar Awards, on Sunday, February 24th in Los Angeles. Over 400 bottles of wine will be served to the winners of the most desired prize in the world of cinema.
Wolfgang's choice caught Bodegas Ateca completely by surprise. The group sales manager for Oro Wines and Juan Gil said: "We knew nothing about it, until the wines were solicited for having been considered the best wine to pair with the dishes that will be served."
I don't know what dishes Mr. Puck is planning to pair, but Honoro Vera is an old vines Grenache with intense aromas of ripe red and black fruits (raspberry, currant and blackberry), balsamic sensations that come from a short period in oak and the spices like thyme which grow in the vineyards and a light mineral background which comes from the slate mountainsides. It's fruity, floral, fresh and easy to drink, producing a pleasant sensation with a tiny touch of sweetness on the tongue.
Bodegas Ateca emerged from a joint project of Bodegas Juan Gil and Jorge
Ordonez, through Orowines, but Ordonez left the company about three years ago. Oro Wines continues to control the facilities of the cooperative and its vineyards and produces two other wines, in addition to Honoro Vera; Atteca, with 12 months in the barrel, and Atteca Armas, with 18 months of aging. All three of the wines are surprising and delicious, but for me it's no surprise that Mr. Wolfgang Puck has chosen HonoroVera. I find it to be the most pleasant and refreshing of the three with a beautiful lively expression of fruit and spice without overpowering or dominating a meal.