- 2015 Tarima Hill Monastrell, Alicante, Spain $11.69 (@Costco; California)
In last week’s post, I confessed my love for the Monastrell grape when reviewing a $6.99 Spanish wine from Trader Joes. You can find the review here: https://wp.me/p9ygim-6N
This is a very different, superior rendition of a Spanish Monastrell, which is also known as the wine grape Mourvedre in France. Not suprisingly, I love a good Mourvedre too!
It is my opinion that some of the best red wine values in the world today originate from Spain and Portugal. And I often tell friends that the sure fire way to find the best Spanish wines are to look for the Jorge Ordóñez Selections name (a U.S. based importer) on the back label. There it is, just below my left thumb in the back label photo below…
Beyond the disclosure that this is from the portfolio of Jorge Ordóñez, the other cue that this wine might be something special is the information imparted by the gold label sticker shown on the photo of the front label at the top of this post. It proudly proclaims – and rightfully so – that this wine was awarded not only 92 points by the Wine Spectator, but that it was number 17 on the magazine’s annual Top 100 wines list. That is a powerful endorsement.
Monastrell is is Spain’s third most important black grape variety, with nearly 120,000 acres planted. (The natives will tell you it’s 48k hectares.)
So many wines we taste in this price range taste forced, simple or even a tad fake, like the right stuff has been replaced by additives. Not this wine. This wine tastes legit. It has a brilliant violet-hued clarity. But it was the nose of dark red cherries and leather that really seduced me. On the palate, it has lovely notes of black berries, plums, black licorice and lovely notes of vanilla.
This is a winter weight wine, best enjoyed by the fire and/or with a plate of roasted meat.