2009 Artadi Viñedos de El Seque Alicante
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(90% monastrell and 10% syrah): Opaque violet color. Enticing aromas of cherry-cola, black raspberry, potpourri and Asian spices. Very ripe but fresh and energetic, with excellent clarity to its sweet dark berry and spice flavors. Juicy, penetrating and long on the finish, with the spice and floral notes echoing.
Alicante is perhaps best known as a university town, and by extension, a beach and party destination for students, but the town and surrounding area has more to offer. The wines from here are some of the more intriguing values in Spain these days. Monastrell is the lead grape in this region, blended in this case with syrah and cabernet. A chewy nose of dark fruit and licorice rope leads to a straightforward, tasty palate of ripe dark fruited wine. This balanced, medium-bodied example also shows a hint of mineral towards the finish. This is very good stuff to throw into the mix for your weekday value wine consideration. 90% Monastrell, 10% Syrah.