Monastrell Grape makes a delicous and spicy red wine


100% Monastrell from DO Jumilla

Juan Gil – 100% Monastrell Grape

This is the Spanish grape better known throughout the world as Mourvèdre. Mourvèdre is one of the key grapes in the Rhone Valley of Southern France. In Spain, this grape is widely grown in the DO (Designation of Origin) Jumilla, located in southeastern Spain, in the Murcia political region. I purchased the 2012 Juan Gil from The Wine Club in San Francisco for $12.98. If you have drunk wine from Spain, more than likely it has been a Tempranillo wine, the king of Spanish grapes. Garnacha and  Carignane are also popular red Spanish wine grapes.

When we first opened and decanted the Juan Gil, there was not much to this wine. Within an hour, it opened and became a delightful, complex wine. The pepper spice in the wine is predominent, but the red fruit and dark fruit of the wine shine through. The kicker to this wine was our accidental food match. We decided to cook up one of our favorite recipes, Linguine with clams and pancetta, a recipe we adapted from the book “Heat” by Bill Buford (see recipe). The recipe calls for a pinch of red pepper flakes, and that along with the pancetta we think became the key to bringing out the best in Juan Gil 100% Monastrell wine. Whenever I find a wine to recommend, I check at the winery for a spec sheet. Foreign wineries seldom have them on their websites, but Bodegas Juan Gil has one for this wine. The Monastrell grapes are old vine grown in chalky limestone soil and aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.  89 Points in my wine book. The Wine Club has locations in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Santa Ana.

White Rhone Blend at Trader Joe’s $2.99

rgmv wine

R.G.M.V. Trader Joe’s White Rhone Blend

Vintage Wine Taster Mike spotted this at TJ’s and thought, what did he have to lose at three bucks? The wine is called the R.G.M.V. wine. On the back label it explains that the wine is a blend of  44% Roussane, 34% Grenache Blanc, 15% Marsanne, and 7% Viognier. Mike says because it is a 2012, the $2.99 reflects the close-out price so TJ’s can make room for the 2013.  “It is a very nice Rhone white blend with lots of different spice and stone flavor. If you find it, grab some bottles for delightful Spring/Summer sipping. 86 pts.”

Follow-up on the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc 2013

More on my review of the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc: I was at Costco on Thursday, February 19, in Foster City. The store has moved the Provenance to the back corner display and they have a very ample inventory. The price is $12.99, which includes the $3 instant rebate at checkout. I think this is fantastic value on a delicious S.B.

Wines Vintage Tasting Club tried but did not make our recommended list

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