Part 2 of my Hallo-Wine series features a wine with a skull and crossbones on the label! Trust me, though, don’t let that deter you from trying this delicious Spanish red, which is 100% Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre in France). This is a grape that is said to need “its face in the hot sun and its feet in the water,” meaning that it needs very warm weather and adequate water or irrigation to thrive. In other words, Monastrell is not an easy grape to grow, but done right, it makes one of my favorite wines; a big, intensely flavored purple wine that makes you stop and think about what you’re drinking.
In the hot sun of Jumilla, Spain, Monastrell has the conditions it needs: long, hot summers tempered by the closeness of the Mediterranean Sea. Jumilla is actually one of Spain’s oldest wine growing regions, but in the late 1980s was devastated by Phylloxera, the traditional enemy of grape vines everywhere. Because of this blight, wine growers had to rip up thousands of acres of old vines and start completely over. It took some time to develop new vines with louse-resistant roots, and Jumilla basically disappeared from the wine world for some time. Their loss is our gain, however, because today you can find quality wine at still extremely reasonable prices, not the least of which is this week’s featured wine, Time Waits For No One. This wine received 95 points from Decanter magazine last year, but can be found for around $15 locally.
What a great wine to bring to your Halloween party – a scary label, and it’s delicious! This is not a red blend – it’s 100% Monastrell, with intense aromas of blackberry, plum, and roasted coffee. It’s a deep purple in the glass, with full-bodied flavors of dark cherry and blackberry, with notes of dark chocolate and vanilla, and a smoky oak finish. Like many Spanish Monastrells this is also a bit higher in alcohol, which gives it a bit of a buzz on the tongue.
On my five-cork scale based on taste and value I give Time Waits For No One from Finca Bacara winery a solid four corks. I think it’s safe for me to say you won’t find a more delicious red wine…with a skull and crossbones on the label…than this!
If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Eighteen, the Radisson Cincinnati Riverfront Hotel’s rotating steakhouse in the sky! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!