(2017) The sixty-year-old Monastrell (Mourvèdre) here is planted on its own roots, grown by an 83-year-old Pedro, a fourth generation farmer in Jumilla, in the south east of Spain. There's a pure, ashy, dry black fruit on the nose, very direct and bold, some juicy currants and a hint of something violet-like. In the mouth the sweetness of the fruit is abundant, but as it fills the mouth with juicy ripe flavour, the firm tannins and edge of acidity clamps down, giving this savoury appeal, a little herbal and nutty dry note adding to that. Is there a little oak here? It certainly has some rounding and texture, in a lovely, easy drinking but quite powerful style.
(2015) What the mimic is seeking to mimic in this wine from Jumilla is the full-on, sun-kissed richness of Australian Shiraz, so the recipe includes full ripeness and lashings of creamy French and American oak. Dense in colour, the aromas are vanilla and plum, some tobacco spice, and a hint of hot baked earth. In the mouth it is its sweetness that strikes first - the sweetness of really ripe fruit, perhaps a touch of residual sugar, but backed up by creamy tannins and juicy acidity, and good concentration. A very convincing impersonation indeed.
(2014) A little earth and herbs added to gamy but ripe red fruits. The palate is juicy and fine, with lots of cherries and berries, and a nicely balanced finish. Modern and fruity, verging on jammy, but drinks well.
(2012) Jumilla in southeast Spain is the source of this unusual red wine, made by the partnership of Ed Adams MW from England and Bruce Jack of Flagstone Winery in South Africa, trading under the name 'La Bascula'. With 14.5% from the hot south it is a big and bold wine blending 80% low-yielding Monastrell (Mourvèdre) and Syrah, with ageing in new American oak for just four months. It is sensational stuff at its affordable price, perhaps not unsurprisingly blending new world and old: copious, spicy, glossy and deep black fruit with a cherry and raisin edge melds with chocolate, the palate having depth and bravado, but a really fine energy too that stops it from being too heavy; anything but. Delicious.
(2009) Super heavy-weight, dressed to impress bottle for this Spanish blend of Monastrell, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in barriques. It has an ebullient, charming nose, slicked with vanilla but also deep, caressing notes of plush black fruit and tobacco spice. On the palate it is very ripe and sweet, with fat, juicy plum and black berry fruit melding into plenty of spice, woodsmoke and liquorice. There's a gamy richness to this, but the clean, sweet essence of the fruit pushes through with supple, smooth tannins and good balance into quite a long finish. Big, but drinking really well.
(2005) Monastrell, better known as Mourvèdre in France, is one of the principal grapes of the Jumilla region in south-eastern Spain. Here it is teamed with Cabernet Sauvignon to produce a wine filed with bold, ripe, very sweet red fruit on the nose, with a slightly floral freshness, and plenty of character. On the palate it is very ripe and savoury, with a lovely rasping cherry acidity running through it, against juicy redcurrant and raspberry fruit. The finish is fresh, in a very distinctive and delicious wine made in a bright, forthright style.
(2005) This very nice blend of Monastrell, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon is big, minty and super-ripe, with a sweet, creamy nose, flooded with black fruit. It is beautifully ripe on the palate, with cassis and black cherry, with a freshening raspberry note and fine, supple tannins. Very much an "international" style, but an exceptionally nice wine.
(2003) Big, black-fruited nose with intense concentration and hints of black olive and lead pencil. Quite tarry and rich, the palate again has good black fruit, prune and liquorice, with that blue/black concentration of plummy fruit. Big bittersweet tannins and balanced acidity complete a very convincing picture.
(2001) Multi-part blend of Monastrell, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot, all aged in a mix of French and American oak barrels. The nose suggest new American oak immediately, with an overlay of spicy vanilla and sweet custard, toasty toffee and caramel. There is ripe black fruit in there too. The palate is savoury and dark with a fine bittersweet savoury character, but staying pure and refined into a long, well-balanced finish.