Sunday, December 9, 2007

Yecla Monastrell, Castano 2005

Spain is an excellent place to look for artisan wines these days. There are many inexpensive little gems on the market, and I am doing my best to taste as many of them as possible.

Monastrell is the grape known as Mourvedre in France. Chateau Beaucastel is one Chateauneuf du Pape that has a substantial amount of Mourvedre in its blend, and this wine reminds me a bit of a young Beaucastel: deep and bluish, almost opaque with concentrated fruit and peel aromas. Lots of dark substance but also delicate floral/fruit notes--boysenberries, dark cherries and violets. The skin tannins create the feeling of a big wine--firm at the front and in the middle but again with a finish that speaks of finesse and delicacy. Lots of concentrated fruit. Very much like a Southern Rhone.

I paid $6.49 for this wine (a young Beaucastel will set you back $50 plus) and plan to go back for more. For some reason, Spanish wines seem to make it to many health food stores as well as wine shops. Don't hesitate to try them.

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