Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Olivares Altos de la Hoya Santa Ana Vineyard Jumilla Monastrell, 2008

Like many of the $10 and under Spanish wines on the market today, Altos de la Hoya represents a blend of the old and the new. The gnarled old tree-like vines produce exceptional fruit that is fermented in stainless steel tanks with wild yeasts. Yet the wine is aged for six months in French oak, a combination of large and small barrels. Although only a few of these barrels are new, they do impart some character to the wine that could be called "modern" or "international."

I have found Jumilla to be a good source for Monastrell wines, and Altos de la Hoya is one of the most impressive examples I have come across. I held these bottles back a couple of years to see how they would age, but I didn't learn much. The wine still comes across as young rather than mature Monastrell.

Deep, dark ruby. Rather powerful aromas of candied cherries, flowers and spices. It's not the spiciness I love in Mourvedre wines from Southern France, however. Ripe and rich on the palate with distinctive flavors of dark more than red fruits. A bit warm (14% alcohol) and a bit ripe for my taste, but still very enjoyable.

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