2011 Bodega Pirineos Montesierra

So, as you may remember a little while back, I had discovered that not all wines grow wiser with age, and a good number of my bottles were starting to get a little long in the tooth.  I was trying to get through my overripe collection of mindless wine purchases, and I must confess it wasn’t that bad, but there was nothing memorable either.  And let’s face it, we don’t drink wine to get our tongue’s wet!  So in the midst of it all I treated myself to a fresh bottle of wine.  The 2011 Bodega Pirineos Montesierra, to be precise.

The Montesierra is a Cabernet Sauvignon/Tempranillo from Somontano, Spain, and it continues to reinforce my feelings about Spain supplying the world with many of the greatest wine values.  The 2011 Montesierra is a completely unpretentious red wine, but for the price $11 it is exceptional.  At first I expected a medium-to-thin tart red.  BUT NOOOOOOO…I was so wrong.

I opened the bottle with no breathing…not me, the wine!  I poured a glass and was greeted with rich, dark color, the aromas of plums, blackberry, delicate notes of spice, and just lots of really clean, fresh, ripe fruit.  The flavors completely followed suit.  Usually with “bargain” wines either the aromas will be nice, but with no flavor, or vice-versa.  Not here.  The Tempranillo in the Montesierra adds a lively cherry component, while the Cabernet donates the dark fruit qualities.

This wine appears to be made in a very modern style that promotes up-front clean fruit, mouth filling flavors, and leaves a satisfying, refreshing feeling on the palate.  This is not a light red.  It will stand up to all sorts of foods, such as grilled meats, sausages, pork roasts, game meats, stews, and pasta dishes.  Not all wines do this, but this bottle speaks for itself.  It doesn’t hide any of its qualities, and honestly, I found no flaws.  It is not a wine to age for the next 3 years, but rather a wine to drink right away, so I allowed it to age overnight and enjoyed every drop the next day.

Somontano is a wine region in Aragon, which is in Northern Spain.  The name Somontano means ‘under the mountains’, which is an apt description as the region sits in the foothills of the central Pyrenees Mountains.  This lush, green, hilly region lies less than 35 miles (60km) from France. After lobbying hard for a number of years, the local producers were rewarded with DO status in 1984.  Somontano has since become a significant force in the Spanish wine industry, offering a wide range of wine styles and types.

“Life is too short, and I’ve become too Italian, I’d rather drink wine and eat pasta, than have a 38 inch waist.”

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