Three reds for the Bank Holiday
(or for Father’s Day!)
In Spain, they take their reservas seriously. In other words, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva mean something.
Crianza: at least 6 months in oak
Reserva: at least 12 months in oak
Gran Reserva: 24 months in oak.
I tasted the differences recently , and you may do the same via this “set” from Monasterio de las Vinas. I enjoyed each of the three as did Robert Parker who marked them at 89, 90 and 91 respectively.
All three are made from a blend of traditional Spanish grapes: Garnacha, Tempranillo and the local Cariñena. The vines have an average age of 40 years. Yields are kept low as the wine-making process is geared towards quality at every stage. I reckon they’ve succeeded in their aims.
Monasterio de las Vinas, Cariñena 2008 Crianza, 13% ABV, €11.99.
Mix of dark fruits on the nose and the colour is a darkish red. Smooth enough and dry with fruity flavours (plum-y). Well balanced, excellent and also good value. Note: 8 months in oak.
Monasterio de las Vinas, Cariñena 2006 Reserva, 13% ABV, €13.99.
Colour again is a darkish red. The aroma is similar to the Crianza but slightly more intense. On the palate it is smooth and dry and a little spicy and the tannins are not as much in evidence as in the Crianza. All in all a very pleasant wine, a step up on its younger brother, yet just two Euro more. Note: 14 months in oak.
Monasterio de las Vinas, Cariñena 2005 Gran Reserva, 13% ABV, €17.99.
Colour is much the same as previously and it has an intense, oaky nose, also hints of plum and black cherry. In the mouth, it is very smooth (velvety), dry and spicy. So well balanced with an excellent lingering finish. The best of the three as you’d expect. Note: 24 months in oak.
So there you are, one for each day of the Bank Holiday weekend, or maybe open all three together and really taste the differences.