A Comprehensive Guide to Monastrell Red Wine
Monastrell red wine is a testament to Spain's rich winemaking heritage and has been captivating wine enthusiasts for centuries with its bold and complex flavors.
Fran Berger Living is a trusted source for refined living advice and home entertainment expertise. Discover the fascinating world of Monastrell, from finding the perfect bottle to bring home through this guide.
The Enchanting World of Monastrell Wine
Back in the 5th century, the Phoenicians introduced the Monastrell grape variety to the sunny vineyards of southeastern Spain particularly in the appellations of Jumilla and Yecla. Fast forward to today, and Monastrell has become one of the country's signature grape varieties.
The Taste Profile
Monastrell wines are renowned for their robust and full-bodied character. When you pour a glass of Monastrell, you can expect to encounter a delightful array of flavors and aromas including:
- Black Fruits: Monastrell often exhibits dark fruit flavors, such as blackberry and black cherry, which contribute to its rich and luscious profile. This is how Monastrell offers its visually appealing rich, deep ruby-red color.
- Spice and Earthiness: You'll also find subtle hints of spices, like black pepper and clove, and earthy undertones that add complexity to the wine.
- Leather and Tobacco: During aging, Monastrell can develop leather and tobacco notes, making it an intriguing choice for those who appreciate matured red wines.
- Firm Tannins: This wine is known for its firm tannins, which give it a structured and bold character.
How do expert winemakers perfect the unique qualities of Monastrell red wine?
Monastrell goes through a meticulous production process. Here’s the overall journey from grape to bottle:
The grapes are handpicked from sun-kissed Spanish vineyards, ensuring only the best make the cut. After crushing, fermentation takes place, in which yeast converts the sugars in the juice into alcohol.
The wine then rests in natural oak barrels, absorbing each different character and enhancing its flavor profile. This aging process can vary in duration, from a few months to several years.
Once the wine has achieved the desired level of maturity and complexity, it is carefully filtered and bottled.
Choosing the Best Monastrell Red Wine
Selecting a high-quality bottle of Monastrell wine is a task to be enjoyed. To help you make an informed (and delicious) choice, here are some expert tips to consider:
Get to know the regions in which the wine is produced. In the case of Monastrell red wine, Spanish regions, specifically Jumilla, Yecla, and Alicante are areas to study.
Consider the environmental factors of these regions that may have an effect on the quality of the wine, such as the soil, climate and even altitude.
Wine Maker’s Reputation
Research the winemaker, exploring other wines they produce, the process they use and where they get their ingredients sourced from. Look for reviews from reputable sources, such as wine magazines and critics to learn more about the consistency of the wine maker. You can also read customer reviews and ratings to get a more personal opinion of the overall taste and flavors.
High-quality wines can be found at various price points. Don't equate high price with high quality automatically. Sometimes, you can find exceptional value wines that outperform more expensive options.
Top-Rated Monastrells to Consider
Bodegas Oliveras Jumilla Dulce Monastrell - Grown in the sub-cool climate of Jumilla, Spain, Bodegas Dulce Monastrell red wine has a striking freshness and surprising richness. Intense aromas of fruit tease the nose while delighting the tongue with sweet-tasting notes of figs and dates. Grab a bottle to enjoy with a sunset by visiting most online retail stores.
Pasas November Harvest Monastrell 2019 - This award-winning wine is produced in Alicante, Spain, and has an unusually sweet taste for a Monastrell red. Flavors and aromas of plum, black currant, chocolate and oak can be detected in a vintage bottle of Pasas. Its high level of tannins gives it a smooth finish, pairing perfectly with any meal of choice. This wine is very affordable and can be found at many online retailers.
Bodegas EL Nido “Clio” - Grown from the Monastrell vines of Jumilla, this wine is slightly sweet on the palate, with hints of black raspberries, plums and a dash of spice. It has a glass-coating, deep purple color. The strong, round tannins make for a refreshing addition to your cabinet. You can typically find Bodegas El Nido Clio in well-stocked wine shops and online retailers specializing in Spanish wines.
Food Pairing with Monastrell Red Wine
Monastrell's bold and complex flavors make it a versatile wine for food pairings. Sip your Monastrell alongside one of these tasteful recommendations:
- Grilled Meats: Monastrell pairs exceptionally well with grilled meats, like steak, lamb, and chorizo. The wine's robustness complements the charred flavors of the meat.
- Spanish Cuisine: Given its Spanish heritage, Monastrell naturally complements Spanish dishes like paella, tapas, and hearty stews.
- Hard Cheeses: The wine's firm tannins make it an excellent companion for aged and hard cheeses like Manchego or Pecorino. Strong tannins attach to fat and protein, rinsing the palate with each sip.
- Chocolate Desserts: Monastrell's dark fruit and spice notes make it a delightful partner for chocolate-based desserts. Time to pull out the fondue fountain!
Enhancing Your Experience With Monastrells
To fully appreciate Monastrell red wine, it's crucial to serve it at the right temperature and store it properly. Follow these simple tips to ensure you have an excellent tasting experience.
Monastrell is best enjoyed at a slightly cooler temperature than room temperature. Aim for around 60-65°F (15-18°C) to reveal its full spectrum of flavors without making it flat.
If you're opening a young Monastrell, consider decanting it for at least 30 minutes to allow the wine to breathe and open up.
The choice of glassware matters too. Opt for a wine glass with a wide bowl that allows the wine to aerate. This not only helps the aromas to concentrate but also provides a pleasant sipping experience.
Designed to encourage the true flavor of bigger and bolder reds, Fran Berger’s signature red wine glasses will illuminate the complex flavors of Monastrell. This glass showcases light-as-air beauty, with its full-bodied, bowled silhouette handcrafted by heritage glass artisans in the Czech Republic.
Store your Monastrell in a cool, dark, and humid environment, ideally on its side to keep the cork moist and prevent oxidation.
Reach For The Red
The next time you're browsing for a wine that's rich in history, bursting with flavors, and just plain enjoyable, try reaching for a bottle of Monastrell for your next dining adventure! Pour a glass and settle down to read more about the wondrous world of wine on Fran Berger Living and browse the personally selected collection of luxury essentials that you can add to your home.