As aficionados of Agapito Rico's wines have come to expect, the 2005 Bodegas Agapito Carchelo comes across as a hedonistic fruit bomb, at least initially, offering up copious quantities of black fruits and sandalwood, as well as a luscious vinosity. Although always eminently drinkable and utterly pleasing, the 2005 Carchelo may quite possibly be this estate's finest effort to date. Always deep in color, long on flavor, and smooth as silk in the finish, it is easy to see why this wine makes every important wine critic's "Best Buy" list. A blend of 50% Mourvèdre (locally known as Monastrell), 30% Tempranillo, and 20% Merlot, the 2005 Carchelo offers up even more intensity than usual. The 2005 Carchelo serves as ample testimony to the virtues of Mourvèdre, despite Mourvèdre's reputation for being a shy bearing grape that is difficult to grow. Indeed, Mourvèdre is a very special, highly flavored grape that it is well worth the fuss. We suggest serving the 2005 Carchelo cool or slightly chilled (about 58°-60° F or 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator). Enjoy!
The 2005 Bodegas Agapito Rico Carchelo is another crowd pleaser from this very consistent producer, so this offering will undoubtedly please most palates, with or without food. However, our preference is to serve the 2005 Carchelo with good every day fare, including fresh pastas, savory stews, and simple cuts of meat. Flautas, tacos, hamburgers, ribs, pork barbecue and Shepard's Pie all provide enjoyable accompaniments, too. In our experience, the real problem with the Carchelo is not so much deciding what to serve it with, but deciding who to serve it to because Carchelo has a way of always bringing a smile to people's faces. This also means the bottle is gone before you know it. Consider yourself forewarned. However, wine was meant to be shared, so why not keep a second or third bottle on hand and remember the words of a wise old sage: "Wine without a friend is like life without a witness." Enjoy the Carchelo with some friends, or pour a few extra glasses and make some new friends.
Bodegas Agapito Rico produces a fine array of Mediterranean style wines, especially Carchelo, a wine that continues to delight critics and savvy consumers alike. From 175 acres located in a high, remote mountain valley in Spain's Murcia, Jumilla native Agapito Rico fashions compelling Rhône style wines from Mourvèdre, Syrah, and small amounts of Merlot and Tempranillo. In vineyards located at over 2200 feet in the desert like climate of Murcia, the indigenous Monastrell (Mourvèdre) thrives on its own rootstock. Moreover, a good portion of the estate's grapes are completely organically farmed and yields average an impressively low 1.5 tons per acre, one of the lowest in Europe. In the last decade a completely new winery has been put in operation at Bodegas Agapito Rico, built expressly for Carchelo and this forward thinking bodega's fermentation by carbonic maceration or whole berry fermentation – the fermentation technique now used extensively in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Carchelo is conceived to feature the intense, fresh aromas and velvety texture and extract of the low yielding Monastrell. Hence, carbonic maceration is used to retain the full aromatic profile of the easily oxidized Mourvèdre varietal. A judicious amount of Merlot and Tempranillo blended into the cepage adds further complexity and ageability. Just a few short years ago, it was being said that Spain was the sleeping giant of European wine, but with Bodegas Agapito and other outstanding Spanish producers coming into their own, there can be few incredulous wine drinking souls left unaware that the giant has indeed awakened.
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