Have you ever watched a really powerful film with a story that sticks with you for a few days? Or dreamt so vividly that you can't shake the aura of the dream all day? I had a similar experience with this Monastrell from Jumilla -- the 2013 Albero Monastrell, to be exact. I can't stop thinking about it and I drank it 4 days ago. Obsessed? Probably.
I found this gem at Trader Joe's and should have cleared the shelves. It's made from organic grapes, and you know what else? It's $6.49!!!
I selected this wine to accompany this French-inspired dish. I didn't have a French wine on hand and my logic was this: Spain is next to France. It worked out.
Monastrell is the Spanish name given to Mourvedre. The same grape is known as Mataro in Australia and America.
My experience with Mourvedre/Monastrell has been positive. It's a grape that makes rich and luscious wine for the most part. The Jumilla DO is in southeastern Spain in the hills above the Mediterranean. It is a healthy and well-known producing region. The estate this bottle comes from, Iranzo, has been in existence since 1335.
Now that our contextual lesson is out of the way, let's talk about this wine. It's one smooth operator. I wrote that down in my wine journal after my first sip. I'm not lying.
On the nose is cinnamon and cherry, which carries over to the first sip and is then complemented by some blackberry and smokiness. It is juicy, pungent, velvety and playful.
For less than $7, I just don't know if you can do better. There is also a Tempranillo and Cava from Albero that I expect will fall into my basket the next time I'm at Trader Joe's, but this Monastrell will be a regular around the Hayes house for sure.