IMG_0030Casa Castillo Monastrell 2013, Jumilla

Available from 64wine,Glasthule; Clontarf Wines; Red Island,Skerries; Fallon & Byrne,Exchequer St, D2; Fresh Outlets.

A slightly gamey nose with plum fruits; rich and rounded with a herbal note, ripe soft plums and a subtle oakiness on the tail. Great value for money, even if it crept over the €15 limit for a Daily Drop, and a good winter warmer. Full-bodied and powerful but it handles the 15% alcohol very neatly.

Monastrell, known elsewhere as Mourvèdre or Mataro, originated in this part of the world. The wines are usually big, structured, tannic and rustic; certainly not wines to sip before dinner. However, over the last decade, producers in Spain and the south of France have been making increasingly fine wines from Monastrell. Casa Castillo has been one of the leading producers in Jumilla, a region in Murcia in south-east Spain for a decade or more.

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