MONASTERIO DE LA VINAS RESERVA 2006, CARINENA D.O. SPAIN
LCBO PRICE: $14.95
My papa introduced Monasterio De La Vinas a few years ago and since then, I always keep a few bottles in my cellar! It is an incredibly smooth, vibrant, delicious and food friendly wine. I must confess to opening it usually only on "special occasions", meaning when I am by myself… It is exceptionally scrumptious!
Here is a little bit of advice when shopping for Spanish wines: The Spaniards do the ageing for you! The wines that qualify for an appellation are part of Spain's Denominacion de Origen (D.O.) Classification system and must adhere to strict rules and regulations in order to be allowed the D.O. logo on their bottles. One of the many regulated things is the ageing requirement and there are 3 categories: (note that ageing requirements differ for white and rose wines. The figures below are for red wines)
Crianza; wine is aged in oak for 6 months, bottled and cellared for a total of 2 years ageing.
Reserva; wine is aged in oak for 12 months, bottled and cellared for a total of 3 years ageing.
Gran Reserva; wine is aged in oak for 18 months, bottled and cellared for a total of 5 years ageing.
Monasterio De La Vinas crafts all 3 but let me tell you more about the Reserva! It hails from the heart of the Ebro Valley in Northeast Spain, most specifically from the Carinena DO (Denominaciones de Origen) in the autonomous community of Aragon.
The blend is produced by Grandes Vinos y Vinedos SA. It is comprised of 70% Garnacha (Grenache!), 20% Tempranillo and 10% Carinena (Carignan) that range in age from 35 to 45 years old.
Each grape cluster is hand picked in the early morning to preserve freshness then off to cold soak for maximum fruit extraction prior to the primary fermentation.
The Tempranillo and Carinena are aged for 12 months in French Oak while the Granacha is also aged for 12 months but in American oak.
This results in a complex and rich wine!
In the glass, it has a mean deep ruby color with a slight terracotta hue. The legs are persistent and fleshy.
On the nose, it is full of cherry, minerality, pot roast aromas, herbaceous with hints of briny dill pickles and wood fire smoke.
On the palate, it is velvety, round and smooth. There are flavours of ripe black cherries, cocoa with refined tannins and refreshing acidity with a long smoky pipe tobacco finish.
At this age, it is starting to throw a little sediment so you might opt to decant it. I usually chill it lightly prior to drinking it.
And what to enjoy this delightful bottle of wine with? For me, there is only one dish that will do and it is a chicken, sausage, shrimp and pepper paella! I have included the recipe in the link below! It has many steps but the end result is spectacular!!! But in all honesty, a wine this good would be perfect to enjoy on its own or with a cheese and charcuterie plate!