Full Pull Beating Heart of Mourvedre

Hello friends. Today we have what I consider one of the most charming, characterful $10 reds (discounted from a $15 release price) you can find in this great big world of wine:

2013 Olivares Monastrell Altos de la Hoya
We last offered Altos way back in January 2014. That was the 2011 vintage, the one where Lettie Teague published the following in a Wall Street Journal article about the ridiculous values coming out of Spain: [TEXT WITHHELD]

That put more sales pressure on an already pressured wine (thanks to year-in and year-out strong reviews from Tanzer’s Josh Raynolds, never the easiest grader). I’m sorry it has been so long since we’ve offered it; I know that 2011 was an extremely popular reorder target. And I should say: here we’re accessing the last parcel of the 2013 that exists in western Washington, so I’m thinking this is very likely to be a one-and-done offer, with no fulfillment of reorder requests possible.

Now then, when it comes to varietal Mourvedre, there are twin beating hearts in Europe: Bandol on the French side of the Pyrenees, and Jumilla on the Spanish side. Jumilla is where we find ourselves today, the capital of Spanish Mourvedre (or Monastrell, as they call it on that side of the border).

Olivares has a single vineyard (Finca Hoya de Santa Ana) in Jumilla, with vines as old as 80 years, growing in a sandy moonscape that has never caught a whiff of phylloxera. Unlike much of Jumilla, this site sits at considerable elevation (2700ft), allowing for large diurnal shifts and excellent acid retention. It’s matured entirely in neutral barrels (some small, some large), allowing the old-vine fruit material to shine bright. The nose is outrageously complex and expressive for a sawbuck wine: plummy fruit, roasting game, mineral, and loads of spice notes (cracked black pepper, star anise). And then the palate just hums with energy and verve, carrying a continuing mix of fruity and meaty and mineral notes. You don’t really expect $10 wines to have much in the way of presence, let along terroir expressiveness, and yet this has both. What a charmer!

Vinous (Josh Raynolds): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]e. 91pts.”

This is a slammin’ value for summer/autumn parties and weddings, so let’s open it up: first come first served up to 120 bottles, and the wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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