Tragolargo Monastrell 17
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Bodega Vinessens is a small family-run winery established in 2007 by Andrés Carrull, the current director of viticulture, and his wife, head oenologist Marta Ribera. Although it's a young winery, their wines are made from superb old vines, some of which are over 100 years old.
I love the way the family expresses their grape growing and winemaking philosophy: "At Bodega Vinessens, we are always in search of what we call 'Vinos de Autor' (Author Wines). These are wines that reflect our personalities produced using almost entirely artisan techniques. We are a true reflection of what has become known as a 'Garage Winery,' a new style of winery with new exciting and cutting-edge interpretations of winemaking."
Bodega Vinessens is located 600 meters above sea level in the sleepy, rural town of Villena, Alicante. Etched into the Sierra Salinas hillside are 11 hectares (27 acres) of old bush vines amidst a rugged outcrop of predominantly sandy, limestone soil. All grapes are sourced from the family's vineyard holdings, and they focus entirely on organic and biodynamic production.
In the glass, the dense purple color leads to earthy aromas of roasted herbs and baked red and black fruits. There's a nice leathery edge to this Monastrell that will undoubtedly remind you of a well-made Chianti Classico. Dusty notes of berry compote run through the herbaceous finish along with notes of balsamic and hints of eucalyptus.
Tragolargo is a perfectly grill-worthy red that would pair nicely with steaks and chops. I'd love it as well with simple, comfort fare like burgers or meatloaf.