Castaña Monstrell

Maker: Castaña, Yecla, SpainCatana Monstrell

Grape: 100% Monstrell (Mourvèdre)

Place of origin: Yecla DO, Spain

Vintage: 2010

ABV: 13.5%

Purchased for: $9

Appearance: Dark crimson, thick legs.

Nose: Strawberry preserves, blackberries, black cherries, oak. A little boozy.

On the palate: Raspberry jam, black pepper.

Finish: Light and fades quickly. Cherry juice and a touch of leather.

Parting words: For a $9 wine, this a very good stuff. Mourvèdre/Monstrell is a staple of Mediterranean vineyards, especially those in the southern parts of Spain and France. It often is blended with Grenache and similar wines to counteract its rustic character. This is Mourvèdre of a gentler sort.  It’s jammy but has enough structure and oak to make it appropriate for drinking with a hearty meal. Wines from Rioja and the Duero valley have gotten very hot in recent years, but lesser known regions in Spain like Yecla are still producing value wines and this is a great example. Castaña Monstrell is recommended.