The name sounds like a football player, doesn’t it? You can just hear the gametime announcer over the stadium soundsystem: “And at middle linebacker … number 51 … ATALAYA Almansa!” The meanest, baddest bruisers in the NFL have played the linebacker, defensive line or running back positions, and this wine is a bruiser. Meaner than Mean Joe Greene. Nastier than Ray Lewis. Dirtier than Ndamukong Suh. More punishing than the great Earl Campbell. Primarily made of Spanish Garnacha and some Monastrell—both dark skinned, deep, richly concentrated grapes—at 15% alcohol it’s here to put the big hurt on you. The tannins, the spice, the level of extraction—the wine is massive. It bowls you over with its sheer brute force. Not just for any player, but the special kind with the courage to suit up, take the hits, suffer the broken bones and put everything on the line for every 10 yards on the field. Because somewhere in the violence of it all lies a thing of beauty—something sweet, round and full: victory on any given Sunday. –J.M.
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