Now that I’ve helped fill your fridges with lots of Viognier, it’s time to get back to a favorite topic: red wine. Maybe you’re stuck in your ways and don’t want to venture from the good old standbys like Cabernet or Shiraz… I don’t blame you! Wine can be a little intimidating, especially wines from different countries that use grapes that are hard to pronounce. It’s even more intimidating if you don’t even know what the grape is (red? white? who knows!). Tempranillo? Sure, you’ve heard of it. But Bobal? Maybe not so much.
Even if you’re an adventurous person, it’s hard to venture into the unknown with wine. I know if I’m spending money on wine, I want it to be good and it can be a huge let down when the wine just isn’t. We’ve all been there. Sometimes, though, it’s worth the gamble… like with this Spanish wine that turned out to be great – the 2009 Mustiguillo “Mestis” Vino de la Tierra el Terrerazo ($12). Believe it or not, I didn’t choose this wine based on the label, but the label is certainly “buy-worthy” on its own!
This wine is actually a blend of 50% Bobal, 30% Tempranillo, and smaller percentages of Cab, Syrah and Merlot. Bobal is a grape indigenous to Spain that’s used mostly as a blending grape. It has a natural beefiness to it, generating wines that are dark in color with chewy tannins and plenty of acidity. The grapes for this wine come from the Valencia area of Spain, about 65 miles from the Mediterranean Sea, produced by the family-owned winery of Bodegas Mustiguillo. Aged in French oak barrels for about 10 months, I thought the wine had distinct aromas of boysenberry, pepper and baking spices followed by dark fruit flavors, tobacco and spices. It’s savory, briery, dense and surprisingly complex.
You can typically find some good bargain wines from Spain, and this one is no exception. If you can find it, snatch it up… it not only makes a unique gift to bring to a dinner party, but it’s also really good!
Producer: Bodegas Mustiguillo
Region: Valencia, Spain
Varietal: Blend of 50% Bobal, 30% Tempranillo, small% Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot
Price Point: $12-14
Tips: I think this would be a good wine for rustic, hearty foods like lamb or smokey grilled meats. I tried it with a peppered cheese and it was delish.
Fun Fact: “Mestis” means “half-breed” or “mixed” in Spanish, but it’s actually the Valencian term for mixed ancestry. The winery says that “Mestis is a tribute to our friends and the people of all cultures who gather to savor good wine.” Cheers!