Spanish Stars. Wines to drink

Sommelier India tastes the wines of Murcia

Wines of Murcia at the tasting

The dulcet notes of Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera were an apt prelude to Sommelier India’s inaugural Tasting Panel tasting. For months Reva Singh had been toying with the idea of creating a regular tasting panel for the publication, and it was with much excitement that a motley crew of five experience palates was able to convene at SI headquarters on a chilly winter’s evening in January for a tasting of Monastrell from Murcia in Spain. The panel comprised Rukn Luthra, a rep of the Indian wine trade, Vice President at Pernod Ricard, India, and head of all the company’s wine business; Andrew Steele,wine aficionado and General Manager of The Shangri-La, New Delhi; Bill Marchetti, chef and restaurant entrepreneur in India and Australia; Reva Singh, Editor of Sommelier India The Wine Magazine and Harshal Shah, sommelier. The panel,as it turned out, had a good balance between experienced tasters and wine judges as well as those who could provide a perspective on behalf of the Indian consumer.
There were eight wines to assess, seven Monastrells from Murcia and one other wine the ‘red herring’ for the night which was 2005 Bardou Saint Chinian Languedoc. The unanimous favourite was the now famous wine number 88, whose number was the result of a witty system devised by the trusty stewards for the evening. All the wines were served blind in no particular order and the labels were only revealed at the end of the tasting.- HS

Star turns: SI recommends
Our favourite: the elusive no. 88 2004 Bodegas Luzon ‘Alma de Luzon’
70% Monastrell; 20% Cabernet Sauvignon; 20% Syrah. Jumilla D.O.
Complex nose with pleasant cedar/cigar notes. Intense palate with an impressive balance of pleasant red fruit, acidity and soft tannins. A good food wine and very drinkable. Balanced palate with a soft mouthfeel. Firm tannic structure with well-balanced alcohol.
2005 Bodegas Luzon ‘Altos de Luzon’
50% Monastrell; 25% Cabernet Sauvignon; 25% Tempranillo. Jumilla D.O.
Complex nose with some nuttiness and hints of vanilla. Fruit-forward palate with ripe, sweet fruit but low acidity and soft tannins makes the wine a little ‘flabby.’ Lacking in weight and finish, perhaps a result of poor storage.
2005 Juan Gil Silver Label
100% Monastrell. Jumilla D.O.
Earthy aroma with some farmyard character. Very soft mouthfeel and good fruit balance. The palate shows low levels of acidity and medium intense flavours. Prominent tannins with little alcohol sensation in the finish.
Retail:Rs 2,000+ Importer: Sonarys Cobrands.
2006 Juan Gil Monastrell ‘Old Vines’
100% Monastrell. Jumilla D.O.
A slightly developed nose with earthy/minty aromas. Soft tannins balanced by medium intense red berry fruit on the palate. Quite sturdy in the mouth.Good mouthfeel and a medium, pleasant finish.
Retail: Rs 1,500 approximately.
2006 Juan Gil ‘Pedrera’
100% Monastrell, Jumilla D.O.
Hints of smoky bacon and sweet fruit on the nose. Upfront fruit on the palate showing soft, ripeness and a pleasant mouthfeel. Fine tannins if a little ‘grippy.’Some red berries up front, but lacking intensity overall.
Retail: Rs 750 app.
2007 Carchelo ‘C’
40% Monastrell; 40% Syrah; 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Jumilla D.O.
Intense ‘fruit candy’ nose with red berries. Plush, attractive palate. Firm tannins. Hints of capsicum and a bit of spice indicating French oak treatment. Fresh acidity but seems to drop a bit short on the back-palate.
2007 Ucenda
100% Monastrell. Bullas D.O.
Hints of green/stalky notes on the nose. Tannins somewhat overbearing, hiding the fruit. Fresh acidity on the palate along with slight bitterness and a short finish.
2005 Laurent Miguel ‘Cuvée Bardou’ Saint-Chinian (Languedoc)
100% Syrah
Somewhat subdued nose showing just a smidgen of sweet, ripe red fruit. Ripe palate with fine, grippy tannins and medium weight.
Retail: Rs 750 app.

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