The Monastrell that received 99 points – Casa Castillo Pie Franco 2017, Jumilla

Jumilla’s top name, Casa Castillo already got some attention in recent years, but receiving 99 points from Wine Advocate speeds up things a little more. As the high rating was published for their top wine, stocks at most online merchants quickly disappeared – but interestingly this new superstar of a wine is still available at Lobenberg’s in Germany. This was the case when I payed 77 Euros for a single bottle (not something I can afford on a regular basis) and felt lucky.

Continue reading

High alcohol red wines II. – Bodega Vinnessens, El Telar 2016, Alicante DOP

Following the Puglia Primitivo, here is an other genre which tends to achieve high alcohol levels: Monastrell from south-eastern Spain. According to the label, this example, the El Telar 2016 from Bodega Vinnessens has the same the alcohol content as the Primitivo (15.5%), but it looks more out of balance in comparison.

Continue reading

Best value – Eje Monastrell 2017, Alicante, Spain

From time to time some extraordinary value appears in supermarket chain Lidl, in the form of Spanish and Italian reds from warmer, less famous wine regions. They don’t pretend to taste like expensive wines, and that’s an advantage – they are pure and honest, and as they are well crafted too,  I often find more pleasure in such bottles than in many reds that cost considerably more. Like in this case. Continue reading

Two Languedoc reds from Borie de Maurel

Mourvedre is one of my favorite grapes, and I have fond memories of the wine Borie de Maurel made from it in 2010. That was one of the best examples I tried outside Bandol. Current vintage seems to be the 2015, which I was able to order from an online shop (which delivers to Hungary, but many merchants in France do these days), and I just added one of their less expensive cuvées as well. Continue reading