Having enjoyed the Lorca Monastrell (see below), I did not hesitate when I spotted another Spanish Monastrell on the wine list at Amavi Mediterranean Restaurant in Santa Fe. Jumilla, I know, is a reliable appellation for Spanish Monastrell, and I was not disappointed in this Casa Castillo.
Again the color is deep, dark and purplish, and the Monastrell aromas and flavors are big and fruity--dark cherries, spice, cassis, flowers and peppercorn. While perhaps a bit less ripe than the Lorca, this Jumilla Monastrell offers more complexity and finesse. It reminds me of the Luzon Verde Jumilla Monastrell I reported on a year or so ago; the wine just keeps unfolding with every sip. I'm becoming a fan of Spanish Monastrell, and Casa Castillo joins the others on my radar.
Once again, I willingly paid $10 for a glass of this wine, even though I suspected correctly that was probably more than the retail bottle price. As much as I love Southern Rhones, I must admit that some of the best values in artisan wines right now come from Spain.