2008 Core Mourvedre

Price: $20.00 @ Core Wine

What They Said:

Per Core Wine “Primarily Mourvedre with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to round it out. 100% of the fruit comes from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard grown at 3000 feet. 35 months in neutral barrels and bottled without fining or filtration.

Huge nose of juicy red, blue and black fruits, mushrooms and grilled meat. On the palate the wine is loaded with lush black, red and blue fruits, brown spices and nice concentration. A crowd pleasing wine at a great value that you won’t find everywhere.”

What I Think:

(14.9%) Per the winery there is some Cabernet and Syrah mixed in here but I can’t find any blend percentages. That said as usual for Core Wines this one appears cloudy to the eye as it is unfiltered. Juicy blueberry and tart strawberry with dense (pleasant), chalky tannins. From there a spiced acidity takes hold that leads to a short but nice finish. More good stuff here and food friendly to boot.

Wine Geek Notes: 240 cases made; 35 months in neutral barrels; unfiltered

Rating: Interesting (at the $12 I paid likely to buy again; at $20 not so sure…)

2007 Viña Honda Monastrell Jumilla

Price: $9.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Grapes of Spain

What They Said:

2007 Viña Honda Monastrell Jumilla90 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2007 Vina Honda Monastrell (100% varietal) was raised in stainless steel tanks. Purple-colored, it offers up a fragrant nose of underbrush, mineral, spice box, and blueberry. Layered, mouth-filling, and succulent, this forward effort will offer much pleasure over the next four years.” This monastrell is amongst the best I have tasted this year. Warm plum aromas, with hints of pomegranate and a trace of a spicy, pungent root vegetable quality, lead to a terrific mouthful of inexpensive red wine. Intense pomegranate, cherry and cranberry fruits show plenty of presence and purity. A great deal in everyday drinking red.

What I Think:

(13.5%) 100% Monastrell (or Mourvèdre) – Ruby at its core and thins to garnet on the edges. This one shows cherries with green peppercorn and clove notes on a slightly sweet nose. The wine starts medium bodied with juicy red currant and cherry flavors. A mineral component emerges along with a nice acidity and notes of cedar which keep this well balanced and smooth throughout. The finish is short and slightly sweet with an oak driven creaminess and hints of pepper that lead to a lingering tannic finish. Despite the finish being on the shorter side this is an lively, appealing wine that is well structured and at $10 delivers fair value for the price point.

Rating: Pricey

2000 Jade Mountain Mourvedre

2000 Jade Mountain MourvedrePrice: $16.99 @ BevMo

What They Said:

Per the winery (pdf) “The old vines, combined with low yields of two tons per acre, transform this normally rustic red grape into a fine complex red wine that is both hearty and satisfying. Mourvèdre is broadly planted in the famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation in the southern Rhône valley, but it is seldom bottled as a single variety. Its characteristic aromas of pepper, spice and sweet tobacco are mixed with raspberry and blackberry fruit that linger on the palate. The wine’s dense flavor and silky tannin make it versatile for food pairing. The 2000 vintage shows great concentration and is meant for the richest foods of Southern France and the Mediterranean. Mourvèdre is a perfect partner for leg of lamb, Mediterranean beef stew, pasta primavera, and grilled fish, such as sea bass. In warm weather, chill this wine to 50 degrees and serve it with summer barbecue to enjoy its complex, delicious fruit flavors. Optimum time for consumption 2002—2012″

What I Think:

I’ve had this one since almost the beginning of time, my wine drinking time that is. One of my early splurges which I have looked at year after year. For those that may not be familiar with Mourvedre it most commonly appears in Rhone blends along with Grenache and Syrah. Until I took a look at the pdf I tracked down I had forgotten that Jade Mountain was part of the much larger Chalone Wine Group.

Not sure why it lasted so long nor why I decided to open it this given night but I am very thankful I did. The nose was subdued seeming a bit smoky and warm. It hits heavy at the front of the palate, seems almost inky and shadows the presence of dark purple fruit. The flavors turn to dark berries (blackberry and boysenberry) and towards the end of palate the wine turns slightly chewy leading to a great tangy, nice tannic finish. This was much richer and deeper that I would have initially thought. A very complex powering that doesn’t over power, certainly leaning towards the old world in style. I’m a fan. I’m also looking to try a few more of Jade’s offerings, I asked for tips on twitter and @JugShop recommended the La Provencale. Anyone here have tips for me? As for this one is an early wine of the year favorite and could start a Mourvedre buying and drinking run… Anyone want to come along for the ride?

Rating: Wow!

2005 Santo Negro Jumilla Monastrell Selection

Price: $2.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Mejia America

What They Said:

Per the winery “Tasting note: It has a violet red cherry color, aromas of red fruit, it is velvety and balanced on the palate, with excellent tannins.”

What I Think:

Given my recent experience with the Carro Tinto Monastrell blend I was encouraged to forage the shelves at Trader Joe’s once again for Spanish gems. This one I had before and wasn’t impressed but given recent events and the price tag I thought it might be worthy of another go. So after dinner one night I thought I would see what it was all about.

At first taste it was terribly sour. I immediately put the cork back in the bottle sour. Spending the night in the bottle it became smoky moving into day two. At this point it was drinkable but still a bit tart on the edges thought the dry finish was pleasing. Day three saw more smokiness and the wine was better, but at this point it had climbed maybe to average. It was almost interesting by the end. Given the price point I was willing to give it some leeway as a 12th bottle but for me it is imperative that these perform as soon as the cork is pulled. Here this wine gets a failing grade warranting a rating of “Skip It”.

Rating: Skip It