Jumilla, Spain, home to the richly flavoured Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) and the primary grape in this bottle of Southern Spanish Red Monastrell 2012 from the Wine Society.
The tasting notes that accompany the bottle (nice touch from the Wine Society) tell us that it’s from a relatively new family run Juan Gil Bodega who released their first vintage in 2003. The bottle in question is a entry level Spanish Monastrell and at £5.50, pretty cheap.
The first thing I would say after the initial taste is that this is nothing like a £5 bottle you might find on the supermarket shelf, this is very impressive and I must say a bit of a bargain.
When poured this is lighter than I expected with a rusty brownish tinge, aromas of sweet fleshy plums jump out of the glass along with bonfire ash (nicer smell than it sounds). I’ve drunk a lot of Monastrell lately especially on a recent visit to Murcia, Spain and on first tasting this is on a par with most of the wines there.
Taste – Sweet ripe plums, earthy and a little rustic, not particularly complex but it has good balance and a rough elegance about it but overall it’s very very drinkable.
This was my first bottle from a recent mixed ( 6 bottle) case order from the Wine Society, although mixed with four other Spanish reds, a German Riesling and a Corbieres.
It’s a pretty good start and a good first impression of the Wine Society itself which I only joined a few weeks ago, let’s hope it continues.
My rating 7.5/10 Corks
Wine Society £5.50 a bottle
On a recent visit to Spain where my daughter is currently on her year abroad studying for her degree in Spanish/Italian at the University of Murcia my aim was to try some alternatives to Rioja and try local wines made with grapes of the area, oh yes, also managed to fit in seeing our daughter as well.
Monastrell (Mataro in Spain) also known as Mourvedre is from the Jumilla region which is situated just north of Murcia, it features heavily around the bars and restaurants, often used blended but it can be found in its 100% form widely around Murcia. This thick skinned grape makes wines that are high in tannins, plenty of dark fruit flavours with spice and sometimes slightly herbal. The Monastrells I tasted were bright and juicy, vanillary, full of dark cherries, slightly tart and quite meaty in flavour and very tannic.
Browsing the shelves of local wine shops and supermarkets (while my wife and daughter were off browsing the local clothes shops) there were lots of reasonably priced local wines on show and I took a chance with a couple and as it turned out, both were pretty decent.
The first was a ‘2007 Serrella’ a blend of Monastrell, Pinot Noir and Petit Verdot, priced on offer at just over 7 euros. When poured it was very dark in colour with a rusty tinge to the rim, it had heady aromas of Morello cherries, plums and dark chocolate. If I’m honest the taste was not what I expected after the lovely smells coming from the glass. On first sip it was initially bright fresh and very fruity but did have a sharp sour finish, it also had a rustic harshness about it, although strangely I still thought it was still a pretty good tasting wine. I kept a little back for the next day and it became a totally different drink it was smoother, slightly sweeter, dark fruits were still there and a little tobacco was coming through.In hindsight I think I should have let this breathe for at least a couple of hours and it would have made for a better first experience. Overall though for the price a big thumbs up.
The second bottle was the ‘Senorio de Bullas Reserva 2009’, around 9 Euros again reduced on offer.
Now this was a different beast altogether, a blend of Monastrell and Syrah. When poured it was very dark almost inky in colour but after sticking my nose in the glass and giving a good sniff not much was coming out, there was a little plum and woodiness but not much else.
I drank this straight after opening and was instantly impressed with its intense and powerful flavour, oaky, dark ripe plums, liquorice, figs and spices. Still a little tart on the finish and quite tannic but the taste was much better than the nose suggested, very much the opposite of the Serrella. The similarity to the previous wine was again on the second day, much smoother, less tannic altogether nicer to drink especially as a stand alone drink without food.
Drank quite a few different Monastrells and Monastrell blends in the local bars during my week in Murcia not paying much more than 1 to 2 Euros a glass and most of them very nice with a few exceptions. Great to taste these local wines and great to see our daughter, shame her time in Murcia is coming to an end, it really is a brilliant place, good food, friendly people and good wine.SE
Serrella 7.5/10 Corks
Senorio de Bullas 8/10 Corks