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“Heck of a value” - Robert Parker - A 92-Point Spanish Red for All Seasons - 12/08/2017 - Spain

When Robert Parker takes the time to call out a value, the wine world listens. Needless to say when Parker laid such praise upon the 2014 Bodegas Volver "Tarima Hill - Old Vines" Monastrell, we knew we had to get our hands on a bottle. Sure enough, Parker’s assessment is right on the money. The Tarima Hill is fruit-driven, but isn’t a Spanish fruit-bomb by any measure. Quite to the contrary, it is beautifully supported by excellent minerality and secondary flavors of roasted nut, cured meats, and touches of wild flower. It is about as enjoyable red you’ll find in the sub-$20 range. Given its pedigree, coming from high-elevation, estate-grown vineyards, one might expect to pay $25 or more. But, somehow we are able to sell this gorgeous 2014 for only $12.99. Robert Parker has long been a fan of this bottling, once saying the 2010 vintage "should cost $30 to $50 as opposed to the mid-teens.” This makes it a perfect candidate gatherings or simply as your weeknight pour. With the first sip as delicious as the last, it’s a wine to return to time and again. Our Spanish Buyer, Joe Manekin, sums it up best saying it’s “a delicious, super friendly wine for entertaining - at a great price.”

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2014 Bodegas Volver "Tarima Hill - Old Vines" Monastrell Alicante ($12.99)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Lastly, the 2014 Tarima Hill, from Alicante, is also 100% Mourvèdre aged 20 months in French oak and from the oldest vines of the estate, planted 1935-1975. They are also relatively high elevation, at 2,000 to 2,400 feet above sea level. This wine shows wonderful, pure aromatics of blueberry, black raspberries, chalk and spring flowers. The wine has beautiful, full-bodied texture, impressive ripeness and purity and length. The minerality is present, and the wine a heck of a value. (RP)" (08/2016)

90 points James Suckling: "Intense prune, spice and leather aromas, massive tannins and a huge fleshy body mark this out as a prototypical, modern Spanish monastrell, but it isn't either as heavy nor sweet as many others. Drink now." (07/2017)

Wine Spectator: "Black olive, tar and toasted walnut flavors frame a core of roasted plum and meaty notes in this ripe red. Light, firm tannins and balsamic acidity provide structure. (TM, Web-2016)"

K&L Notes: Bodegas Volver's Tarima Hill Monastrell (Mourvedre) is sourced from estate-grown, ungrafted, organic, dry-farmed vines which were planted between 1935 and 1970 in the shallow limestone soils of Alicante. The grapes are cultivated and harvested entirely by hand and manually sorted at the winery and fermented on indigenous yeast. The wine was then aged for 14 months in primarily new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 29, 2017

Don't be fooled by the price, this is a serious wine that packs a punch. Fleshy and ripe without bordering on off-dry, this is powerful and rich while maintaining a sense of balance. Well integrated tannin and acidity provide lift to the generous fruit. Ripe, juicy blackberry, blueberry and figs, violets, cloves and dried herbs provide the backbone on this incredible offering from Bodegas Volver. If you like big, bold wines, this should definitely be on your list of wines to try.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2017

This red delivers a whole lot with respect to the under-$20 price point. Organic Monastrell grapes from vines 50-80 years old. Initial notes of sugar plum, red and dark cherries, and strawberry coulis. Hints of herbs and earth as well. On the palate, this wine pleasantly surprised me with a higher acidity than I had expected at first. The fruit quality is ripe, but definitively not overripe nor bordering on off-dry. Flavors of ripe red and dark fruit alike: dark cherry, strawberry, prune, and blackberry compote. Charming black and white pepper, tarragon, and sage notes as well. A touch of vanilla at the end, expected as the wine sees around 14 months in new oak barrels. A well-made, modern style of Monastrell that is sure to please those who are fans of California Cabernet Sauvignon. A great choice as a weekday dinner red to go with various meat dishes

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 28, 2017

While the 2015 vintage of Tarima Hill placed an impressive #17 on this year's Wine Spectator Top 100 list, it is the 2014 that many winemakers and Spanish critics consider the stronger vintage on the Mediterranean influenced, eastern portion of Spain. As usual, this is all old vine Monastrell, which gives fresh, spicy, satisfying, more deeply pitched red fruit flavors and an underlying citrus peel note, with just a smidge of new oak influence which rounds out the texture and contributes a bit of flavor as well. Deceptively complex for a $12.99 wine - and a wine that I am used to being a bit plumper from its earlier vintages - I found myself editing this review a few times as the wine opened up and developed with time. A delicious, super friendly wine for entertaining - at a great price.