2011 Barahonda Monastrell Sin-Madera (Yecla, Spain) … $12.99

I am constantly amazed at the good wines that come out of Spain for next to nothing! I could probably pick a Spanish wine every month, but that would be a little too tedious for my taste. However, I could not pass on this one.

Monastrell is one of my favorite grapes. It is used widely in southern Rhone where it is referred to as Mouvedre. I like it because of its depth of color and intensity of flavor. I liken it to a Zinfandel with a little more structure. Like Zinfandel, there are times that Monastrell can be a little too “HOT” for my palate but that is not the case with this one.

The appellation for this wine or D.O. (Denominaciones de Origen) is Yecla, located in Southeastern Spain. Yecla is surrounded by the D.O.s Jumilla, Almansa and Alicante. It’s amazing to read that they have been producing wine in this region for over two-thousand years! Yecla was given status as a D.O. (Or appellation) in 1975. Five white grape varieties and seven red grape varieties are grown in this area with Monastrell being the dominate varietal.

So why is this wine my pick for May? Right of the bat you know you are in for a treat when you smell it. Powerful aromas of black raspberries and plums with interesting red flower notes coming through. Of course, when you get such heady aromas off a wine you start to think it might be hot (high octane or alcohol coming through), but this wine had great balance. Tarry black currant notes come through on silky tannins with notes of blackberries and black raspberries expanding on the mid-palate. This wine stays intense start to finish with notes of currants and tobacco lingering on the finish. Intense but never showing the alcohol. It doesn’t get any better then that for me.

if you are grilling some steak or chicken or eggplant or whatever strums your chord, pop a cork on this wine and you have it all. For those of you that just want a glass of wine while talking with friends, this Monastrell is smooth enough to go solo. I for my part will be doing a little of both with this wine for the months to come. Cheers! Stan The Wine Man

Distributed by Unique Wine Co. (Renton, WA)

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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