Tuesday, March 17, 2009

$10 Tuesday: From the Vault

I'm on one of my bi-annual liver cleanses this week so, I pulled out a post from the vault for a wine that I think is worth a second look. Taster A originally posted this review a little over a year ago on March 8th, 2008!

Our first taste of this wine was over the 2006 Labor Day weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was alone in Oak Ridge for 50 weeks while Taster B was still working in Colorado waiting for our house to sell in a depressed real estate market. Taster B came to Tennessee for the long week end and to celebrate our anniversary. This was one of the three times that we saw each other during that period.

My friends, Kevin and Judy invited us over for a dinner. The first wine they broke out (I love visiting British wine lovers) was Mad Dogs and Englishman. Kevin and Judy had this awesome moon flower plant that had large showy morning glory blossoms the size of your hand. These blossoms would open up at dusk over the course of five minutes. Kevin put together a spread of shrimp scampi, barbequed chicken and grilled vegetables to go with our Mad Dogs and Englishmen. This wine is born in the HOT climate of Sothern Spain, so hot that only mad dogs and Englishmen would go out in the noon day sun (see video clip below).

This is a Spanish wine from the Jumilla DO is in Murcia, a hot hilly region known for their Monastrell. These Vineyards of Jumilla have never been affected by phylloxera and most of their vines are ungrafted. Monastrell is very smooth, fruity and aromatic and tend to age well. The Mad Dogs and Englishman is best drunk young as it is fruity.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Bodegas y Vinedos de Murcia
Sonoma County
Vintage: 2005
Jumilla Denominacio'n de Origen
Blend: Monastrell 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Shiraz 20%
Alcohol: 14.0
Price: $8.99 (Discount liquor store price.)

Color: Ruby red
Intensity: Moderate
Aromas: Strawberry, raisin, mint, earth, cinnamon, black pepper, cedar
Flavors: Wild strawberry, wild raspberry, choke cherry, cherry, jam, raisin, mineral, slate, allspice, cedar, coffee, chocolate
Body: full
Sweetness: dry
Tannins: Suede
Finish: Long

Summary: It took a few minutes to open up the aromas, but when it did, it was one of those wines that came off in layers. The nose was minty with fragrant cedar, cinnamon, black pepper, mineral slate and wild berry flavors. Behind that was the chocolate and espresso. The long finish developed into a nice spiciness.

This did well with pizza, but I prefer this type of wine with grilled steaks and veggies. This wine can be very complex for this price and well worth picking up.