Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top 6 Monastrell

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Bodegas Y Viñedos El Sequé Mourvedre Blend Alicante Viñedos de El Sequé (2009)
Comments: Quite aromatic on the nose with a hint of blueberry early on. Then come mineral-tinged notes of pipe tobacco, roasted chestnuts, toasty rye bread and black currant fruit. On the lighter side for Monastrell with a real softness and elegance where one normally finds only rusticity. This is not refined but remarkably well managed. Full of blue and black berry fruit flavors that are supported by firm yet pliant tannins and subtle hints of green tobacco, a little almond and delicate fine herb notes. The acidity is supportive if not obvious, lending a lovely freshness to the finish, which is flecked with clear peppery notes and lovely, crisp tannins. This is delicious and a real find. Will it age well over the next 3-6 years? I'll wager that it will. 88pts
Average price: $33.03 from 2 stores
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2 Bodegas Castaño Monastrell Yecla (2008)
Comments: Spicy on the nose with notes of licorice, green anise seed, green peppercorn, mint, and lightly roasted blackcurrant and black berry fruit. This enters the mouth with notes of sandalwood and tobacco, wrapped in roasted dark cherry and blackberry fruit. The mid-palate is round and supple, though it is underpinned by significant tannins. While fairly powerful and a touch dense, this retains a certain subtlety to it, layering earthy flavors between notes of vanilla, dark fruit, coffee grinds, licorice and a little juniper spice. There is nothing elegant about this wine and it ends with a little heat and formidable if ripe tannins, but this is quite appealing for its restrained example of what Monastrell can deliver. 88pts
Previously available for $8.99
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3 Enrique Mendoza la Tremenda Monastrell D.o. Alicante Monstarell (2008)
Comments: This is musky and gamy on the nose with lots of herb and raw oak accents to the bright wild plum and blackcurrant fruit aromas. Enters the mouth with a leading edge of roasted red fruit and raw beef that gains notes of bitter cocoa and roasted herbs on the palate. This is powerful and rich, yet it retains a certain sense of transparency as it delivers ripe if lightly liquory and fairly spicy red berry fruit on the mid-palate. Turns a bit oakier on the back end. The finish is a bit tough with plenty of tannins; chewy, dark and licorice-scented. A powerful wine but one with some complexity and detail. 87pts
Previously available for $15.00
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4 Bodegas Volver Wrongo Dongo (2010)
Comments: Sweet black fruit, rosemary and licorice notes greet the nose along with bright, almost grassy herb notes and gentle suggestions of wood smoke. Smooth on entry, this shows some firm tannins supporting the earthy, slightly balsamic and gamy core of fruit. This might be a touch soft and it drops off on the back end a bit, but it does have fine depth of lightly creamy and vanilla-accented dark, leathery fruit on the palate. Plenty of spicy accents pepper the licorice-tinged, blackcurrant finish that is rich with chewy fruit tannins. A touch on the tough side but an attractive wine. 87pts
Previously available for $7.99
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5 Caracol Serrano Jumilla Tinto (2009)
Comments: Sweet and earthy on the nose with herbal base notes and a veneer of aggressive, cognac-tinged oak. This turns all whiskey barrel and cream on the nose with herbal red cherry fruit. A touch loose on entry with a broad feel on the palate, but this delivers a lot of oaky and herbal flavors that carry a certain harshness with them. Some red cherry and redcurrant fruit emerges on the back end, but not enough to balance out the oak here. The tannins build on the palate and right through the finish, though they seem to be fairly extracted fruit tannins. This is rustic, gamy and tough without any charm. 80pts
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6 Tarima Monastrell Jumilla (2010)
Comments: This is overtly oaky on the nose and powerfully so, with some attractive if subtle leathery black fruit. A little herbal on entry, this settles into a lightly spicy, decidedly oak-driven palate profile that shows flavors of toast, char and tobacco. There's plenty of tannin here as well. Astringent and dry tannins seem ready to outlive the fruit here. There's not much of a finish, mainly more tannins. There seems to be both wood tannins and extracted fruit tannins with a real spicy pop on the finale. There's not much to really love here though there is power. 78pts
Previously available for $10.00
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