Two young Monastrell wines – Al-Mouvedre and Casa Carmela

It has been a bit cold outside and I made a trip to a local Waitrose for something warming, a bit sweet and spicy (and on the budget). This turned out to be a battle of two wines made from Monastrell.

I was always a fan of this grape- it is so rich and full of bramble flavours, similar to Syrah, has more fruit, but less spice and herbs to it.
Monastrell is often a part of blend, giving rich colours and warm bramble flavours to it.
Yet if you want to try a pure varietal one, due to its simplicity (at majority of times) it will be not expensive. I am glad that Waitrose had some examples to try.
1. Al-Mouvedre 2013 Alicante
Al Mouvedre Monastrell 2013
Thin, good red and black fruit, some sweet spice and tons of acidity. It is refreshing and juicy, which are definite pluses. Yet the zinginess of that acid is quite strong. I think it needs to be aerated a bit (I gave it a swirl and a few minutes of air time) and also be consumed with something a bit fatty, so to become that knife cutting through the butter type-of-thing.
Yet I remember this bottle from 2012 and I started to feel a little bit  disappointed. I do not know what it the exact reason, be it a very generous harvest of 2013 or just some really relaxed winemaker, but it just doesn’t bring that roundness and fruit/richness ratio well to the mark I need it to.
It tastes quite thin on the mouth and (it may be a personal taste) way too acidic.
2. Casa Carmela 2013 Yecla
Casa Carmela 2013 Yecla
This one was on promotion at Waitrose now and I think that as with the previous one, I have also bought this bottle from the earlier vintages.
This wine is about meeting expectation, not exceeding them. Yecla is well-known for some jammy fruit red wines and this wine is definitely warming and expresses jammy black fruit. It has sweet spice and bramble as Monastrell wines should show. It is round and doesn’t have this refreshing, or as I would say, a sharpish acidity as opposed to the previous one. Yet it is simple and doe not offer more than the warmth and fruity and somewhat sweet mouth feel.
For me, it was a miss with the first one and a good example of a starting point for anyone who wants to discover Monastrell with the second.
About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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