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.

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Not your usual Spanish Garnacha – Cuevas de Arom, As Ladieras 2015, Campo de Borja

The Garnacha from Campo de Borja I was waiting for a long time… I’m a fan of the region, following it since 2012, and while some wines like Alto Moncayo impressed me in a way, there is one thing which prevents me from really liking these wines: heavy-handed winemaking. Too much oak and acid adjustment, to be more precise.

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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.

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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