Show me the Monastrell: Big bold reds without the big price
If there’s one thing we learned from the film Jerry McGuire, it’s that even the lesser-known player can pack a big punch. When referencing wines, the same rules apply. There’s a common misconception that to enjoy a big bold wine, you need to spend the big bucks, when in truth, drinking a blockbuster red has little to do with how deep your pockets are, and more so with how much digging you’re willing do in the obscure wine sections.
Monastrell, aka Mourvèdre in France, is one such hidden gem; tucked away in the inconspicuous Murcia region of southeast Spain, this little-known grape is a delicious monster in the glass.
Consumers of California Cabernet Sauvignon, namely tipplers who’ve grown reluctantly accustomed to spending $40-50 on their fave bottle of red, will be happy to discover that the Jumilla and Yecla regions of Murcia, produce comparably big wines. But for the cost of one Napa Cab, they can sip three bottles of Monastrell instead.
This tasty black grape is planted across Europe, yet Jumilla and Yecla really have a way with it. It could be the 3,000 hours of sunshine Murcia gets each year, or the arid heat plus proximity to the Mediterranean, whatever that x-factor, one thing is for sure, if you love California red, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll love Monastrell. Add a fatter wallet to boot and “Show me the Monastrell” may just become your new vino mantra.
El Gorú Monastrell, $13.95 in Vintages, over-delivers with opulent notes of blackberry coulee, floral perfume and toasted sourdough.
Likewise, expect to get more than your money’s worth with CR Gold 5 Monastrell 2019, $18.95 in Vintages, a rich red that’s flush with bold notes like spicy grilled plum and Mexican vanilla.
Last, Enrique Mendoza La Tremenda Monastrell 2018, grown in the nearby vineyards of Alicante, offers a loaded, complex, albeit less concentrated style of Monastrell with notes like black pepper and stewed red fruit.
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