This post brought to you by:
100% Organically grown Monastrell from Jumilla, Murcia, Spain.
Purchased for $6.99. Available exclusively at Trader Joe’s. See all of our Trader Joe’s picks here.
From the bottle:
“Albero Monastrell represents Spain’s finest. Hand-selected certified organically grown grapes. Albero Monastrell is perfect when enjoying with friends or in giving the gift of wine.
Location: Jumilla, Spain. Grapes grown in the hills just west of Spain’s Mediterranean coast near Valencia.
Enjoy with: Ideal with grilled meats and vegetables, Spanish cheeses & tapas and ethnic foods.
Tasting notes: Dark cherry red. Bouquet pf spice box, violets and blackberries. Powerful in the mouth, smooth, fruity and well-balanced.
Vegan. 14% Alcohol”
One of the things I love about Trader Joe’s wine selection is that they don’t just specialize in the big name grapes like Cabernet and Chardonnay. TJ’s buyers understand that a lot of the best values are found in the varieties that don’t get much attention. Today’s wine is a great case in point.
The Jumilla region in Spain lies along the Mediterranean coast in the southeastern part of the country. Hot and dry, it doesn’t seem like a great place to grow grapes but its unique soils help to retain moisture and the higher altitude of the region helps offset some of the heat. The grape that really thrives heres is Monastrell, known as Mourvedre in most other regions, and it accordingly makes up about 80% of the vineyard land. Today we’ve got a great, inexpensive example of this variety that comes from Spain’s oldest estate winery, Iranzo Fields, in a label (Albero) created exclusively for Trader Joe’s.
The 2013 Albero Monastrell begins with pleasant aromas of blackberry, blueberry, black cherry, grape jam and a little spice and menthol. Tasting the medium-bodied wine reveals more juicy blackberry and black cherry jam. A soft and smooth texture helps to make it easy to drink while excellent notes of spice, cola, black pepper and minerality offer enough complexity to keep it interesting. It ends dry and long. I’ve seen some mixed reports on previous vintages but the 2013 really hit me right — you can’t ask for much more than this for just $6.99.
Overall Rating: 8.3