Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday Tasting: Tarima Hill, Monastrell, 2010

Tarima Hill
Varietal: 100% Monastrell
Region: Spain
Alcohol: 15%
Price: $15.99

It's time for our Tuesday Tastings again! Remember last week’s tasting on the Mondavi Fume Blanc? Well, while out and about with the family picking up that lobster stuffed salmon, we couldn’t help but be seduced by the display of today’s tasting pick – Tarima Hill, Monastrell 2010. As a top rated wine by Robert Parker and the Wine Advocate, it is well deserving of its 93 point ratings.

The Tarima Hill is an amazing wine with a story deeply rooted in its heritage at the heart of Spain. The passion fruit flower on the label was chosen as the winery's emblem because of its intricate detail and mesmerizing qualities. These qualities mirror the wine and the wine making techniques used to produce such an elegant vintage. This wine consists of 100% Monestrall grapes hand-harvested from plots of low yield. These old vines are scattered across the hills of the Sierra de la Sima in the heart of Alicante, Spain. A true bold and spicy Spanish wine.

Upon first pour, the wine exhibits deep garnet color and glimpses of violet. The aroma of dark cherries, leather, caramel, and hints of vanilla are strong yet balanced straight out of the bottle without a decanter. The nose has so much going on that you can help yourself but to dive in and see what this 93 pointer is going to bring to the table.

Upon first taste, the wine gives off plum, black cherries and hints of licorice with a long velvety finish. This wine packs a punch with 15% alcohol and has an elegant but persistent finish. This wine is as full bodied as anyone could ask for.  The kicker is that it is a smooth wine. With all the flavors and the alcohol, this wine drinks quickly and smoothly without agitating the palate. The flavors work together harmoniously to lure the palate into submission while you kick back and relax after a long day.

Another interesting aspect of this wine is that, despite such high alcohol content, we never needed to decant it. (This isn’t typical for wines of this magnitude.) A lot of it had to do with the lure of the nose wanting us to dive into the bottle and experience it for all of its pleasure. But the palate balanced with the nose to provide an easy to drink yet bold red wine that has made its way to the top of our list of favorite wine.

So how would we rate such a big red with an easy to drink demeanor?

Flavor Profile:        9.00
Drinkability:         10.00
Affordability          9.00
Total:                   9.33

This was a surprisingly great wine. The surprise was more in the fact that we didn’t go looking for it, and managed to throw it in the cart while shopping for a more deliberate pairing. But the rating did not lie. It is well deserved of its 93 points. My recommendation is to find a bottle and enjoy it.



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