Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bargain Bins (Wines to try for under $20)

© 2010 Donofrio

2007 Juan Gil, Jumilla (Murcia, Spain)
Appellation: Jumilla (DO)
Region: Murcia
Grape: Monastrell (aka...Mourvedre, Mataro)
Elevage: 12 months, French Oak
Food Pairings: Grilled Meats (Flank/Strip Steak, Lamb, Venison), Medium and Strong Cheeses

When looking for value-priced wines in the sub $20 retail category, I often find myself stuck in the Spanish aisle of my favorite retailers. In part, sipping the wines from that rustic, culturally-diverse peninsula always conjures up images of Hemingway and the "lost generation" for me; I picture sharing a bottle with "papa" and a few "ex-pats" on a hot Andalucian afternoon in an outdoor cafe.

But, aside from my emotional connection to that country and their culture,  there is also a great deal to be said for the drastic improvements in Spanish wines over the past decade and the current levels of consistency found in the lower and moderately-priced wines. Juan Gil Monastrell is one of those wines for me. It's also widely available...

Tasting Notes:

  • The color is deep purple at the core with full intensity and dark, stained tears.

  • The nose is filled with dark black fruits like plum, cherry and blackberry. Beneath the fruits, aromas of savory black pepper and a touch of smoke and vanilla.

  • The palate is rich, warm, and long with intense red and black fruits and a firm backbone of oak. The finish is warm (15% Alcohol) with a touch of bitter astringency that will soften with time, decanting, or the right food.


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