Posts Tagged ‘Mourvedre


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day ninety-three (Juan Gil Jumilla Red 2008)

Juan Gil Jumilla Red 2008

100% Monastrell (Mouvedre)

I just did five minutes of jumping rope. Woo. That was hard. Much harder than I remember. I remember I once did a jumping rope marathon for some cause. I raised the most money by a boy at my school. I won a free sweat suit. Wheeee.

But now it’s time for Juan Gil Jumilla Red 2008. It’s 100% Monastrell, which in France is known as Mourvedre.

This wine has history of good ratings. Over the last seven or eight years, it has received 90-92 points. What I remember of this wine, though I may not have had this year, is that it was muscular.


You know, when I hear the word Monastrell, I do think of green. So the above picture is perfect. (Except I often think of monks, too. Hmm.)

Green Monk

(And sometimes I think of Art Monk as a New York Jet. Ha. No it’s true. He played for the Jets in the penultimate year of his amazing career. In 1994, he started 15 of 16 games and played in 16. He had 46 receptions for 581 yards and 3 TDs. He also finished his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 1995 with the Eagles, he played in three games and started one. He had 6 receptions for 114 yards and 0 TDs.)

Art Monk as a New York Jets

But to the wine. I need to replenish after all that jumping rope.

It smells delicious. It smells like Spain. Like a Grancha, almost. There’s chocolate and cherries.

This is a jammy wine. Raspberry jam. Thick raspberry jam. Followed by a spicy, dry finish.

This wine is making me change my meal plans. I will not be having Italian Wedding soup, which may be my favorite soup. No, this needs a pizza or pasta with red sauce.

The body of this wine reminds me of a big Merlot (a Merlot with green apples), but it behaves like a red Zin, but not as full bodied, but damned delicious.

You know what, I think it might be hot, while retaining balance.

This is a wonderful wine for $14. I give it an A.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day ninety (Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008)

Finally, I found Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008. (Many thanks go out to Holly!) It’s number 85 on The Wine Spectator Top 100 list for 2010. That’s a good reason to get a wine. Plus it’s a 91-point wine for only $14 or $16. But I wanted it because it’s from Lascaux, where there are some great cave paintings.

The Man, The Bison, and the Bird of the Shaft (The Shaft of the Dead Man)

The Man, The Bison, and the Bird of the Shaft (aka The Shaft of the Dead Man)

That’s one of the more famous paintings. It’s probably most famous because it seems like there is a narrative, a story, going on here, but no one knows what the story is. It’s mysterious. More so because most Paleolithic paintings don’t have stories. Most are images. There are very, very few cave paintings that appear to tell a story. I’m not sure if a story is going on here. It may be a palimpsest of images.

But what of Coteaux du Languedoc? Is there a story here? Well, it is the oldest vineyard in France. Some say the Greeks put vineyards here around 5 BCE and some say 500 BCE. Either way, it’s old, but not as old as those cave paintings. Coteaux du Languedoc is then divided into many appellations. Chateua de Lascaux is located in the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.

Coteaux du Languedoc

Pic Saint-Loup appellation is up top in the dark red.

Of the Pic Saint-Loup appellation:

It’s probable that those living here 2800 – 2400 years BCE already drank Pic Saint-Loup . . . After all, wild vines – lambrusques – were growing way back then.

Wines from this appellation are required to be  have at least 90% Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre combined. The other 10% can be Carignan and Cinsault. This wine from Chateau de Lascaux is 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre, which meets the requirements of the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.

Other appellations have different requirements. For a break down of each appellation’s requirements and a brief history of Coteaux du Languedoc, visit the Languedoc Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée website.

For more information about Pic Saint-Loup, read the Pic Saint-Loup press pack. Interestingly, the press pack says:

Vine cultivation started largely with the Roman occupation around 120 BCE. Since then it has constantly expanded.

(I don’t know why they say Romans when other sources say the Greeks were the first to plant in Coteaux du Languedoc. Maybe they were both there? [shoulders shrug])

Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008There is obviously more to learn and say about Pic Saint-Loup and Coteaux du Languedoc, but it’s time to get to the Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008.

Held up to the wet sunset sky where snow (big, fat snow flakes of snow) had been falling much of the afternoon and early evening, the color of this wine is bright purple. It looks vibrant and happy.

The nose is delicious. Vanilla and and and, ah, it’s like vanilla cream. After a couple of swirls, new smells arise: cranberry and pepper. There might be cherry, too. And I pick up some truffle oil. Truffle oil. That’s what is making me happy inside. Truffle oil. Truffle oil is always happiness to the body. I smell it and all sorrows go away.

To the taste.

This is pleasant up front with cranberries and plum. The body is cool and deep. The Mourvedre is making for a tart finish, or a high acidic finish. The tartness while mild endures on the finish.

This is an enjoyable wine, but it needs some food to cut the tart finish.

This would go good with eggs. Eggs, toast, hash browns, and ketchup. This would be a good breakfast wine. Though, who has wine for breakfast? Hmm. Maybe I should go to the Brockport Diner.

I say this is a B+ wine. It could probably benefit from a few more years so the acidity can mellow a bit.//

ADDENDUM (4-18-11 a.m.): This becomes a solid A- with some food. It went perfectly well with some spicy chow mein noodles and veggies that I made.//

ADDENDUM (4-18-11 p.m.): About 24 hours later I had some more. It was so much better. It was a new wine. The tartness was all gone. It even tasted a bit like garlic bread. This wine either needs lots of time to open up or a decanter. I’m now giving this an A.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day eighty-three (The Stump Jump Red 2008)

Last year, The Stump Jump’s Shiraz made The Wine Specatator’s Top 100 list and received 90 points. I liked that wine quite a bit, especially with the $10 price tag. It was also quite versatile as it went with so many foods.

The Stump Jump Red 2008This The Stump Jump makes The Wine Spectator’s Top 100 again. This time in spot #63 and again receiving 90 points. But this time it’s the Red – a blend of Grenache, Grenache, and Mourvedre. Bonus: it’s dollar less expensive.

By the way, I should more properly call this d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Red 2008.

You can view the whole top 100 list here: The Wine Spectator Top 100 2010.

Anyway, I’m excited by this blend of grapes. I’m all giddy. So let’s get to it.

The first thing I noticed when I poured it is that it’s thin. It shouldn’t be this translucent. Okay. I still have faith.

What a pleasant nose. It smells giddy. I get some cherries, plums, and some sort of underground vegetable. It smells of Mourvedre, but an odd one – a little off.

It’s quite thin and bitter. This isn’t good. How the hell did The Wine Spectator give it 90 points and make it the #63 wine of 2010. No way.

A sour, vegetable, and cranberry finish. The finish is the worse part.

Giddiness all gone. Replaced by wincing face. Lame. 86 points.

I’m so, so disappointed.

I just did a little research. Here’s what the Wine Enthusiast said:

This Grenache-dominant blend opens with a less-than-pleasant scent of paint thinner hiding behind more usual tones of spiced plums and candied cherries. There’s nice raspberry fruit on the finish, buoyed by a sharp whack of acidity. Drink now. W.E. (6/1/2010)  – 85

Reference link here.

That’s closer to the truth . . . and very polite, too.//

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