Bodegas Castaño Hécula Monastrell 2012


Estate: Founded by 2nd generation winemaker Ramon Castaño Santa and his 3 sons, Bodegas Castaño is located in the Yecla region of southeastern Spain and consists of an impressive 1000 acres of vineyards. The family has helped revitalize winemaking in Yecla with their innovative spirit, emphasis on tradition and the use of indigenous grape varieties, specifically Monastrell which is known as “the king variety in Yecla”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from a high altitude, single vineyard with vines 60-80 years in age, with limestone soil. Aged in stainless steel and French oak.

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with aromas of jammy fruit, white pepper and sweet vanilla. Concentrated berry flavours [blackberry, blueberry, raspberry] with pleasantly contrasting, subtle herbaceous notes and silky tannins. White pepper, hints of chocolate and a sliver of mineralty comprise the lengthy finish.

100% Monastrell
Produced & Bottled by Bodegas Castaño
14% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2016

Rated 91 points by Wine Advocate

Tala Monastrell 2012


Straightforward, this is a fantastic value packed with dense fruit and a good dash of acidity making it great with a wide variety of dishes.

Winemaking: Tala hails from the ancient wine growing region of Alicante in southwest Spain. I was not able to locate more information other then Tala is bottled exclusively for Astor Wines & Spirits.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of cherry and gamey earth. Dry earth elements and firm tannins supported dense black cherry and baked plum flavours, whilst hints of black peppercorn and suggestions of bitter chocolate comprised the dry, clean finish.

Monastrell [Mourvedre] I was not able to verify varietal percentage
Produced and Bottled by R.E. No. 0007796/A, Pinoso
14.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Casa Castillo Monastrell 2011

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The history of Viticola Casa Castillo began in 1870 when French viticulturists fleeing phylloxera planted vines and built a winery in southeastern Spain. Then in 1941 Jose Sanchez-Cerezo acquired the property in order to grow rosemary. Viticola Casa Castillo was founded in its current form in 1985 when Jose Sanchez-Cerezo’s son Mr. Nemesio, along with his son Jose Mª Vicente, revived the rosemary producing estate with reconstruction of the original vineyards and introduction of new varietals. Today Jose heads the estate with a goal of producing “wines with personality, own character and flavor of each plot”. Whilst Casa Castillo Monastrell is the estate’s entry level offering, the grapes were sourced from old vines located on northern slopes of Sierra del Molar Mountain.

Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of grape jam and hints of toasted oak. Cherry, plum, herbaceous traces and cheerful acidity were supported by smooth tannins and a clean fruity finish. Straightforward and friendly, this is a great match with pizza and simple pasta dishes. [And a good value at $9.]

100% Monastrell [Mourvedre]
Bottled by Julia Roch E Hijos, C.B.
14.5% Alcohol
Enjoy thru 2016
Rated 89 points by the Wine Advocate

Vinos Sin Ley Monastrell 2011

I pick up Monastrell wines whenever I find them. They can be jammy and dense or more savoury and earthy, rustic or elegant and delightfully tend to be budget friendly. Vinos Sin Ley translates to “wines without laws” and was created in 2003 by Catalunya oenologist Emili Esteve and Manuel Martinez, the 3rd generation Madrid winemaker behind G5, Zestos and Manu. They established Vinos Sin Ley “to create new wines that are focused on expressing their respective grapes and terroirs, while also being accessible to consumers”. The grapes for this bottling were sourced from high elevation vineyards in the Yecla region of northern Spain. The old vine [40 + years] vineyards are organically farmed without the use of irrigation.

Dark red-violet in colour after aerating aromas of blueberries, dried herbs and hints of toasted oak rose from the glass. Cherry and blueberry flavours were supported by traces of rich leather and clove elements in the medium body. Spicy white pepper, bitter dark chocolate and sweet raisin notes comprised the moderate finish. Straightforward and easy drinking, this is a pleasant glass that can accompany a wide variety of dishes.
Bottled by R.E. 30042/MU
14.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

Rated 92 points by the Wine Advocate

Juan Gil Jumilla Monastrell 2010


Both the grape Monastrell [Mourvèdre] and the font on the label propelled me to pick up Juan Gil Jumilla 2010. Founded in 1916 by Juan Gil Giménez, Bodegas Juan Gil is a 4th generation family owned estate. Consisting of 350 hectares of vineyards, the grapes for this bottling were sourced from 40 year old parcels on the estate.

Dark garnet in colour, after aerating aromas of cherry and traces of dried thyme rose from the glass. Fruity flavours of black cherry, blueberry and fig were complimented by earthy leather notes in the full body. Spicy black pepper was joined by sweet vanilla, raisin and smoky campfire elements in the lengthy finish. Although packed with fruit and smoky spice, this is a pleasantly somewhat subdued glass, lovely at the table or on its own.

100% Monastrell [Mourvèdre]
Bottled by Bodegas Juan Gil
15% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2014