Mile High's Wine of the Week: May 16th
Cims del Montsant 2010
Regular Price: $18.99
Sale Price: $11.99
Sale End: 5/19/2013
Score: 90 Points Robert Parker
The Monsant region of Spain is famous for having some of the oldest and most gnarled Grenache and Carignan vines in the world. Rocky soils and virtually non-existent rainfall mean that each old vine struggles to produce only one or 2 bunches of grapes per growing season. The resulting wine is some seriously engaging stuff. The 2010 Cims del Montsant highlights the best attributes of each of those varietals delivering the impressive floral bouquet and striking red berry fruit of Grenache as well as the vibrant acidity and mouthwatering spice of Carignan. This medium bodied red is packed with notes of red currants, Bing cherries, and brandy macerated strawberries up front. The finish is where the wine really shines though as it displays incredible notes of cinnamon, ginger, Moro orange, and crushed stones. Pack this bottle into your knapsack along with some Basque Idiazabal cheese, a stick of dry cured Spanish chorizo, and a loaf of crusty bread. Then head out to the nearest park and set up shop under a nice shady tree for a little picnic. That’s about as good as it gets!
On to the Tasting Notes:The wines of Montsant and its neighbor Priorat are some of the most interesting in the world. Grenache and Carignan thrive in the dry, rocky landscape there. Wonderful minerality and persistent spice are the hallmarks of those reds. This week we are excited to be able to offer you a fantastic, value oriented red that displays those attributes at a price that is too good to pass up!
The 2010 Cims del Montsant is dynamic young Spanish red. Though Grenache is often generous in its youth, Carignan is typically less approachable due to the structure and spice that imparts. Despite only accounting for about a third of the blend the Carignan in the 2010 Cims del Montsant still seems to dominate the wine’s personality. I opened a bottle in the evening after a good long day of wine tasting and proceeded to pour a large tasting glass. Andre joined me with another glass and we both tasted the wine without affording it much, if any, time to breathe. He really seemed to enjoy the fiery entry and lean texture that it displayed because he immediately started thinking about food pairings for it. I was interested in it initially but decided to wait to pass judgement on it until it had some time to open up with the air. After leaving my glass for an hour or so I returned to write this review. Although my initial impression of the wine as being bright, lean, and spicy still rang true a bit of air helped to reveal a wonderfully soft core of red cherries, macerated strawberries, red currant preserves, and brambly raspberries. The fruit seemed to harmonize nicely with exceptional finish which was lead by notes of blood orange and fresh ginger then quickly followed up by very persistent minerality and warm baking spice. It showed a touch of tannin as well as zesty acidity both of which stood in stark contrast to many of sweet, corpulent, domestic reds that I had tasted throughout the day. The 2010 Cims del Montsant was the anti-Apothic. And I was totally fine with that.
I think that you can take a couple of different approaches to drinking the 2010 Cims del Montsant. One would be to simply open a bottle and then casually sip it over the course of a couple of hours in order to watch it evolve in your glass. Forego decanting in favor of a slower process of natural oxidation. If you go this route then a few fatty meats, cheeses, and olives would make a perfect accompaniment so that you nibble at them slowly as you sip your wine. A different approach would require decanting the wine for 2 hours and then pairing it up with a relatively light meal like Moroccan chicken and saffron rice. Decanting will soften the wine’s edges and allow it to sit just underneath the food, holding it up and making it better than it would be on its own. A final approach, and the one I will undoubtedly take, is to lay a few bottles down in my cellar to let the Carignan soften slowly and the wonderful minerality from the old vine Grenache to come to the foreground. Given another 3 or 4 years, I fully expect this already wonderful wine to become even better. I love older Grenache though, so my approach may not be the best for you. I guess that the point I am trying to make is this; buy some Cims del Montsant this weekend! It is a beautiful and dynamic bottle that is sure to serve you well no matter what you have in store for it.
Food Pairing:The way this spicy young Spanish red is drinking right now makes me think that it will pair up exceptionally well with a relatively light meal that contains some fruit. So I suggest serving some slowly grilled chicken thighs that have been basted with a mix of barbeque sauce, raspberry preserves, Worcestershire sauce, and Chinese 5 spice powder. A great side dish would be quinoa that was cooked with good chicken stock and flavored with coarsely chopped dried prunes. That ought to really set the Cims del Montsant up for success!
You MUST mention this special or print it out to receive the price on the above wine.
This price expires 5/19/2013 at 6pm and is limited to in-store quantities.
No rain checks given. Call (303) 936-0272 to reserve bottles with a credit card.