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2011 1771, Old Vine Monastrell, Bodegas los Frailes, Valencia
Mourvèdre, aka Monastrell in Spain, is a common blending partner of Syrah and Grenache (aka Garnacha in Spain). In Australia and California it can also appear under the name Mataro.
Mourvèdre's bastion in France is Bandol, where it reigns supreme in the red blends and yielding a savoury, gamey, herby wine. It also commonly features in Southern Rhône, Languedoc & Rousillon blends.
The grape needs a warm climate to ripen fully. Its stronghold in Spain are the appellations along the south-east Mediterranean(Murcia, Jumilla, Bullas), where it produces rosé, dry red and sweet fortified wines. Monastrell has played a significant part in Spain’s vinous heritage; it nurtures wines that are deep in colour and richly tannic, sometimes overbearing in their intensity and concentration
East-facing eponymously, and Mediterranean of climate and culture, the appellation of Valencia produces wines from a diverse array of styles and grapes, including, for the white varieties, Merseguera, Malvasía, Pedro Ximénez, Moscatel Romano, Planta Fina, Macabeo, Chardonnay, and to a lesser extent, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon; and, for the red grapes, Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera, Garnacha Tinta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Bobal, Syrah.
Wine is bred in the bone here, and at all price points. Two of the most exciting bodegas are Bodega Mustiguillo and El Angosto, which certainly deserve to be better-known.