Thursday, April 9, 2009

Merum Monastrell

Bodegas Merum

$14.00 -- Vino100, Lakeway, TX

Color: Deep purpledy-red
Nose: Cherries, spice, a little heat
Body: Medium
Front: Blackberries, tangy fruit
Middle: Cream, slate
Back: Pepper, leather
Burns clean?: Maybe
Cap: Cork

I opened this at the perfect time of year--a warm spring day, sun beaming down, a promise of more heat to come. Zinfandel fans will like this one plenty; it's not too complex, but layered and rich. It's fruity, but there's plenty of ol' Spanish earth in it, too--a little bite, then a little dirt. Tonight, like many nights, I'm eating pizza, and it's a fantastic combination with this wine.

The first Jumilla wine I ever drank was back in 1987, during a summer stay in Madrid. We were given a bottle by our generous hosts in Valdeiglesias, left over from a delicious outdoor lunch after visiting a recently-restored ancient monastery. We opened it a few days later back at our challenging quarters at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and it was damn good. I've had a soft spot for Jumillas ever since.