I like Mourvedre (Monastrell in Spain) for many of the same reasons that I go for Pinot Noir. With patience and some coaxing, it is nearly always possible to tease out a beautiful array of subtle smells and flavors. As with Pinot Noir, Mourvedre can give out some funky notes during certain stages of development. As far as I am concerned, these are all part of the beauty of the wine.
I found Tarima for about $8 a bottle at Cost Plus World Market. The gorgeous passion flower label called out to me, and I have had good experience with Jumilla Monastrell and with wines from this importer, Jorge Ordonez. I was not disappointed.
The color is deep, dark and bluish; that's the natural appearance of Monastrell and not a sign of barrique aging. The label promises "licorice, chocolate and a hint of purple violets," and I found all of those, along with strong blueberry fruit. A bit of toughness up front fades nicely into sweet floral subtleties. Has all the power and beauty of a fine Gigondas. The only problem is the 15% alcohol, which becomes noticeable only after the wine has been opened for a day or more. For near-term drinking that is no problem.