Wine Advocate 90
The incredibly perfumed 2017 Evodia was true to its name, as apparently 'evodia' means fragrant in the ancient Greek language. It had been bottled for a few months when I tasted it and it was very harmonious and expressive. They have reduced quantities and raised the price a bit, going into a different segment of the market, definitely a better wine than what I tasted from 2016. It achieved almost 15% alcohol in 2017, one of the earliest harvests of the last 20 years after some spring frosts and a very dry summer. Only 20% of the volume matured in barrel, while the rest was kept in concrete vats for six months. It's very easy to drink, with unnoticeable tannins and a long, lingering finish. Super tasty and impressive for the price. 150,000 bottles were produced.
Evodia is an exciting project in the Denominacion de Origen Calatayud, hailed as one of Spain's most progressive and promising wine growing regions. Calatayud is distinguished by its prevalence of high elevation vineyards planted to the Garnacha variety. In fact, it boasts the highest in the entire country. The vineyards surrounding the small town of Atea reach upwards of 3000 feet, which is the highest within the DO. It is here, in the vineyards of Atea, that Altovinum sources their Garnacha grapes for Evodia. In addition to the high elevation's remarkable climate, the property is comprised of pure schiste soils, known as pisara in the local area. Aficionados familiar with the wines of the Priorat and the Roussillon are well acquainted to this soil type and its extraordinary influence on the wines.
These vineyards were ferreted out by the amazingly talented Altovinum team: Yolanda Diaz, Jean Marc Lafage and Eric Solomon. Yolanda Diaz, a native of Calatayud, has an intimate knowledge of the DO and its terroir, so her relationships in the region are an invaluable asset to the project. The winemaking is placed in the capable hands of dynamic enologist, Jean Marc Lafage, who leading wine critic Robert Parker referred to as "irrepressible." Jean Marc consults on projects worldwide and owns one of the Roussillon's visionary wineries, Domaine Lafage. And finally, Eric Solomon, who through his import company, European Cellars, represents the finest Grenache producers in the world.