When McIce and I went to dinner with our beloved friends B&A at Dynamic Dish (great organic, local pizza and light fare and it's BYO), they brought a Monastrell/Syrah blend from Jumilla, Spain. Monastrell is the same as Mourvèdre, which is a red grape found a lot in Southern French Rhône blends (it's a big part of deliciousness in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). It's pretty dark, ultra yummy, and goes fabulously well with pizza with weird gourmet stuff on it...
The Wine: Luzon
Grape: It's a blend. I looked it up -- 65% Monastrell and 35% Syrah (this style is more like something you'd find in the south of France!)
Price: B&A didn't tell us the price until we tasted the stuff. I couldn't BELIEVE it -- $6.99 in the ATL!
Where it's from: It's from Jumilla, Spain. Forgive me in advance, but I will dork out for a second on this one because I don't think a lot of people know the DOs (winemaking areas) of Spain outside of maybe Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Priorat. Jumilla is in the Southeast corner of Spain and for a long time produced really crappy wines. It's uber hot there and they barely get any rain, so they used to just make thick, syrupy, alcoholic wines from Monastrell that they would sell for blending, not as finished wine we could sip. Recently, though, some good producers have been working in the region and they've created some kick-ass blends.
Ok, poetic waxing done.
Normal Description: After what I just said about the hotter climate and syrupy wines and stuff, you could probably guess that the color of this puppy was pretty dark. Hot climate wines tend to be riper and darker in color, this was no exception. The wine was pretty. Almost purple with a lighter more reddish edge, but it was almost opaque.
We had a fun time analyzing the wine together. The first sensation of this wine to us -- HOT. I could smell the alcohol (meaning my cilia were singed). Again, this is typical of a hotter climate wine so not a surprise. Beyond that, there were some light floral notes -- like a carnation or dried rose -- some black cherry and mocha smells that were awesome, and then a great river stream scent with (get ready for this...) hints of petrichor (I LOVE this word. It's so arcane, but it perfectly describes the smell of a ton of Old World wines. Check it out, use it often).
It's great when a wine delivers on the aroma, so I was so happy to taste similar things to what I had smelled. The wine had a really nice raspberry-coffee flavor. I loved the acid on it, which was fairly high and did a good job of balancing out the 14% alcohol (most wines are about 12-13%) that could have stolen the show. The wine had a medium finish, but on it's way out the door it left a little gamey-ness (like a barnyard) that was a really cool surprise. Got snap or is it crap?: SNAP. Go B&A! You guys can pick wines for the blog any time. I enjoyed this wine and for the money it's a complete steal. Rarely can you get a wine with some complexity (i.e., it's not a one-note!) for a such a bargain. I think this one is widely distributed, so my northern readers -- go out and get it and let me know what you think (but wait until that heat spell is over, it's not a hot weather wine unless you are in a cold restaurant!).
Got snap or is it crap?: SNAP. Go B&A! You guys can pick wines for the blog any time. I enjoyed this wine and for the money it's a complete steal. Rarely can you get a wine with some complexity (i.e., it's not a one-note!) for a such a bargain. I think this one is widely distributed, so my northern readers -- go out and get it and let me know what you think (but wait until that heat spell is over, it's not a hot weather wine unless you are in a cold restaurant!).