First up this week is a release from the Jumilla area of Spain. The 2005 Olivares Altos de la Hoya is composed of Monastrell.This grape is also known as Graciano which is what it's generally referred to when grown in the Rioja region of Spain. The nose of this wine is full of cloves and black cherries. The first few sips out of the bottle are tart. The wine opens up fairly quickly, but a 30 minute decant is recommended with this one to get the most out of it. The mid-palate features subtle dark chocolate notes and copious dark berry and spice flavors that dart along the tongue. This wine is well balanced with good acidity. The finish offers white pepper. For the price (between $8-$10) the finish is above average. It pairs terrifically with grilled meats and medium-strength cheeses.
There are a lot of value priced wines coming out of Spain these days, of course quality varies greatly. For it's price-point the Olivares Altos de la Hoya offers a significant amount of complexity. This is a good wine to pick up a few bottles of to have on hand when you don't want to crack anything pricier. That said it's clearly not meant for long term aging. I'll bet it drinks well until the end of 2009.
Imported by Polaner Selections.
Stay tuned for coverage of several other Spanish Wines this week.