A blend of Garnacha (50%), Tempranillo (25%) and Cariñena (25%), the perfectly mature 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva offers layers of smooth, mouthwatering flavors. Lightly scented with the aromas of blackberry, plum, violet, finely tanned leather and unsmoked tobacco, this wine draws you in almost surreptitiously. In the mouth, the wine is smooth and expansive, offering well-integrated fruit, leather, cedar, and cigar box flavors born of a 12 month hiatus in oak. Reminiscent of mature Rioja Reserva, the 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva offers plenty of flavors before finishing with mouthwatering acidity from fine-grained tannins. For optimal enjoyment we suggest serving the 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva at cool room temperature (59°-60° F) after a few minutes of aeration. Enjoy!
As a mature Reserva, the 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva begs for simple, well-prepared comfort foods. Roast chicken with wild herbs, grilled pork chops smothered in gravy, and roast beef served with mashed potatoes and marinated green beans make splendid accompaniments to Monasterio de las Viñas’ flagship Reserva. Meatloaf, barbecued beef brisket, and grilled chorizo sausage provide tasty, easy to prepare pairings, too. A bison burger served on a freshly baked roll with your favorite condiments also makes a fine companion to the 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva. For those endowed with culinary arts, consider the ultimate companion: a splendid spread of roast leg of lamb accompanied by a wild mushroom risotto and ratatouille. If such a meal is beyond your ability, have no fear. A few choice morsels of dark chocolate can be all one desires to accompany this grand Reserva. Buen provecho!
It never ceases to amaze us where the next interesting wine will be found, and that is certainly the case with this month’s feature, the 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva, a mature 10 year old Reserva from the heart of Spain. Who would have thought that we would uncover a cache of a decade old Reserva from Spain’s Cariñena?
Cariñena is both a village and a Denomination of Origin (D.O.) in the ancient province of Aragon, which has been known since Roman times for the quality of its wines. Cariñena is also one of the oldest protected growing regions in Europe, receiving D.O. status in 1932. Monasterio de las Viñas celebrates the history of the land by using traditional varietals sourced entirely from Aragon.
Cariñena, known as Carignan outside of its homeland, is also the name of one of the major grape varieties indigenous to Aragon and other parts of northern Spain and southern France. Old vine Cariñena plays an important role in the wines of Aragon as well as in nearby Priorat, where it lends color, cut and vigor to Garnacha and Tempranillo. Cariñena is rarely bottled as a 100% varietal as the grape’s charisma emerges in older, shy bearing vines such as those that find their way into Monasterio de las Viñas’ Reservas. Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva is one of the flagship wines from Grandes Vinos Y Viñedos, Aragon’s largest winery. The 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva emanates from vines only in excess of 30 years of age. Although Grandes Vinos Y Viñedos is a staggering venture with state of the art winemaking facilities, which were built to serve the burgeoning cooperatives of Aragon, Grandes Vinos Y Viñedos specializes in bottling small lots of old vines from select vineyards. The 2008 Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva is one of the winery’s small specialty bottlings.
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