It only took one glass of this to get me hooked on Spanish wines. While munching on some manchego cheese and serrano ham at Bar Jamon here in New York, and after a bottle of some impressive a spanish rose wine, the waiter suggested a wine of 50% Monastrell, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Tempranillo. A few sips later I had the first feeling of guilt while drinking wine. It was sinfully good. I noted the name and vintage and went on a treasure hunt to buy my own bottle. I found one at Union Square Wine and Spirits and promised myself I would open it on a special occasion.
It wasn't long after that I was drinking at my place with friends and looking into my stash for a third bottle to open that night. Since this is a big wine, I figured it would be the perfect closer to a night of indulgence. We finished it quickly without any patience or any critical analysis. The next day I woke up guilty again. I barely remembered what I liked so much about that wine. The alcohol from a night of drinking had diluted any memories of the bottle. So the next day, knowing that I picked up one of the last bottles at the store, I ordered a bottle from wine.com, and once again saved it for another day.
That other day turned out to be last friday night. While decorating the Christmas tree, my girlfriend and I opened it up and let it breath for an hour. Dark ruby red color. Very toasty on the nose with ripe cherry and dark berry notes. Extremely full in tannins and alcohol. As time went by it balanced out well as it's flavor rounded out to a smooth combination of fruit and toasted oak leading to a long lasting finish. I compared the experience of this wine to "drinking the blood of a virgin." Felt like I was extending my life as a vampire would with a taste of blood. Sumptuous, velvety, and invigorating. My grade: A-