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June 17, 2010 Comments (5) Views: 2203 GFR Wine of the Week, Good Food Media Article, Wine Ratings

Wine Under $10 – La Casona Monastrell

by Malcolm Jolley

I don’t want to tell you the price of a bottle of Bodegas Castano’s 2007 La Casona Monastrell (LCBO# 143743). I don’t want to tell you because I’m afraid you’ll roundly dismiss an $8.70 a bottle wine from the regular old ‘General List’ shelves of the LCBO. I’m not sure I’d be tempted if I saw it. The bottle’s pretty enough, but in too many cases, under $10 reds tend towards big multinationally blended, oakified sweet bombs that strip the enamel off teeth while delivering as much flaw-masking alcohol to the bloodstream of their sippers as is possible to pack into stemware. This is not at all the case with the La Casona, which is as well balanced as it is lively and delicious: dark red fruits, like blackberries – maybe even some blueberry – mingle with black pepper and a slight whiff of leather.

This is a perfect dock, patio or backyard wine, and I’d pair it with just about anything off the grill, especially if there was a bit of smoky taste to the chop, burger or sausage from the barbecue. I intend to bring a bottle or two to the next get-together I’m invited to and asks my friends, Pepsi-Challenge-style, how much they think it costs.

But why is this $20+ tasting wine less than $9? The Castano family’s winery is in Yecla, near Valencia, and they specialise in Monastrell, the Spanish name for Mourverdre – booth region and grape are relatively obscure. Although they’ve been growing grapes and making wine since the middle of the last century, they have steadily been making more and more of their own wine. What goes into La Casona would have been sold in bulk years earleir, so they are happy to keep more of the value-add profit by making it themselves, and we win with a great deal of a wine.

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5 Responses to Wine Under $10 – La Casona Monastrell

  1. geoffrey james says:

    Good call. I have convinced my wife to have it as a wine to drink at the openings at her gallery, along with some decent cheese. It is a good idea to check out the general list from time to time. Some of us are conditioned to think that the only good wines are in Vintages.

  2. […] featured La Casona’s Monastrell as GFR’s Wine of the Week a few weeks ago, so by the time Bodegas Castaño’s export […]

  3. Tony S says:

    Dear Malcolm Jolley,
    Thanks for a great review and a great find. Monastrell when done right is such a beautiful, full bodied wine.

  4. […] Good Food Revolution is a great new site and social network network that offers recommendations for excellent products, services, destinations, events and establishments in the Toronto area.  Malcolm Jolley, the founder of GFR, has decided to bring La Casona Old Vines Monastrell to his next party, serving it to guests “pepsi-challenge style”,  and seeing if they can guess the price. According to Jolley, “[La Casona] is a perfect dock, patio or backyard wine, and I’d pair it with just about anything off the grill, especially if there was a bit of smoky taste to the chop, burger or sausage from the barbecue.” You can read the whole review here. […]

  5. […] week we sit down with the Winemaker behind a constant GFR best-buy selection, Mr. Daniel Castaño Muñoz of Spanish winery […]

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