93 Points for $11.99 Makes it a Good Time Get to Know Monastrell

Fast facts:

  • 2018 Juan Gil Monastrell, Jumilla, Spain ($11.99 @ Costco, California – Item #967359)

 

There is a lot to like about this wine. For starters, it is made of 100% Certified Organic Monastrell (Mourvèdre) grapes. Then there is the 93 point rating bestowed by none other than Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. All this for $11.99 at Costco, although you can find it elsewhere – but at prices closer to $15.

Here is what Mr. Parker had to say about this wine:

“I also tasted the following vintage, the 2018 Juan Gil (silver label), from a cooler and rainier, more continental vintage than the 2017 I tasted next to it. The origin is the same, Monastrell from their own old, non-irrigated vines fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels for around 12 months. This is the first vintage that is certified organic. There were some challenges, but they resulted in a fresh and balanced wine with integrated oak and a juicy and round palate. They have introduced optical sorting of the grapes, and perhaps that’s why there is more precision and purity. They cannot do manual sorting at this price point, but optical sorting seems like a good alternative. 2018 is a more difficult vintage than the 2017, yet this wine is better, juicier and seems to absorb the oak better, with just a smoky touch that reminded me somehow of a Northern Rhône. Really impressive.”

 

Front label of Juan Gil 2018 Monastrell from Costco
A warming winter wine that will pair well with a wide range of foods.

Honestly, I did not know of Parker’s enthusiasm for this wine when I added a bottle to my Costco cart.  But I have rarely been dissapointed in bottlings of Spanish Monastrell from this region at this price point.   It’s a lovely medium-bodied value from the Spanish coast. If you would be challenged to find said wine region on a map, we can help with that:

 

Map of Spain highlighting the location of Jumilla
Curious where Jumilla, Spain is located? Now you know….

This wine is derived from Monastrell vineyards aged on average 52 years, planted in chalky, stony, poor soils at 2,300 feet above sea level. The vineyards are dry-farmed and-harvested and then an optical sorting machine is used to select the best berries. Maceration and fermentation is in stainless steel tanks before being transferred to French oak barrels for 12 months aging. So much of fine wine making is counter intuitive, you’d be forgiven for thinking that old vines, in poor soil with only the water that nature provides (that is literally what “dry farmed” wines mean) would yield inferior wines. The opposite is true, as evidenced by our tasting notes…

 

Tasting Notes:

This Monastrell-based wine offers a nose of red berry and plum. In the mouth it has gobs of fresh, juicy notes of dark berries and cherries, floral notes and a touch of smoke. Rich with soft, silky tannins on the mid-palate and a long, spicy finish with lingering juicy fruit. Would pair well with casual meals of light and roasted meats, hard cheeses and traditional dishes with tomato based sauces. 

Need More Wine Picks from Costco – or Trader Joe’s Even?

If your final 2021 wine shopping excursions land you in Costco, prepare by grazing our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list.

And if your shopping finds you at Trader Joe’s, you can find our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine here.

Happy hunting.

 

Cheers!

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