The 2011 Tarantas Monastrell is certified organic and Vegan friendly, sourced from organic vineyards near the town of Valencia in the Jumilla DO of Southeastern Spain. Monastrell is also known as Mourvedre (France & the US) and Mataro (Australia) and is the M in GSM wines along with Garnacha and Syrah. The back label of the Tarantas Monastrell is great, everything you need to know about this wine is shown from where it was grown to tasting notes and pairing suggestions. The Tarantas had been a Whole Foods exclusive, but is now widely available and lists for $11.99. The alcohol content is 14%.
The color is a dark, barely see-thru garnet red. The nose is a mix of fresh berries and spice with a floral edge. This is a bright, silky wine with raspberry, plums and chocolate upfront. The mid palate brings some savory, earthy spice and a splash of blackberry. The tannins are very well balanced and there is a solid dose of acidity running thru out the body of the wine. The finish is muted but does last a while.
Whenever I head over to a wine shop, I never go in thinking that I want a bottle of Monastrell and I think I need to put Monastrall in the rotation. The Tarantas Monastrell is a very easy to like, not easy drinking, full bodied Red. The silky mouthfeel sets this Monastrell apart from the usual Cabernet/Merlot wines. Pair this with grilled spicy Italian sausage on a french roll and topped with giardiniera or an Al’s Italian Beef (dipped, of course). Chicago is known for its street foods and the Tarantas would work well with most of them, a deep fried Maxwell Street Polish with grilled onions or maybe a deep dish pepperoni pizza. I don’t know what it is about an organic, Vegan friendly wine that makes me want to put the greasiest food imaginable into my system.