100% Monastrel!

12 May
ImageTarima’s Monastrel 2009 is a spicy Spanish red from the Jumilla region. With a high alcohol content (15%!) Its violet color and nose (with notes of graphite and cola) don’t warn the taster of the powerful spice you will experience in the glass- it demonstrates a palate of dark cherry, black pepper and a hint of dark chocolate with a tart finish. I’m surprised at the biting flavor; at $11/bottle it’s a steal if you pair it right- with tapas or salsa, gamey grilled meats, or a spicy entree like lamb or flavorful steaks, even a spicy pasta sauce would do. It needs something strong to stand up to. I tried it with one of my favorite pizzas (that features a delicious spicy tomato sauce) but it just wasn’t powerful enough a flavor to make a good pairing until I tasted a roasted garlic salsa with it. Nice!

The Monastrel is a grape you might know by anther name I have mentioned before, the Mourverdre, which is commonly found in great Rhone blends and lending to dark color and high alcohol content from its thick skins. In this wine, the grapes are obviously picked late on the vine, full of condensed flavor and color. Excellent job to the winemaker, and a good value for the right pairing.

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