Some marketing "whiz" obviously gave this wine a made-up name, used the now-popular-in-America Aussie synonym for Syrah (Shiraz), and then listed the Cabernet and "Shiraz" grapes before the "Monastrell" grape (even though the Monastrell component is 60%) on the label, thinking that us "Muricans" wouldn't buy a Spanish wine labeled Jumilla or Monastrell. Thanks for your high regard of our wine savvy.
Apart from the condescending label, this is a large-bodied lunk of a wine. Not real complex, but darn mouthfilling. Deep ruby color. Sweet, ripe nose of sweet cream, ripe blackberries, prunes, and sweet pipe tobacco smoke. Rich, port-like fruit in the mouth -- dense and full. Some perceptible residual sugar in the mid-palate and finish. With its lack of complexity and very slight residual sugar, it wasn't very enjoyable on its own before dinner, but it actually went very well with the whole wheat pasta and sauteed peppers and bacon dish (recipe below) I made for dinner. I could see this going well with lots of different pasta dishes. 85. $10.99 at Whole Foods on Bellaire.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Peppers and Bacon
1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 pound good quality bacon (or pancetta, if you don't want the smoky flavor), sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound good quality whole wheat (or regular) pasta
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
freshly-ground sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Get a big pot of salted water boiling. While it's getting there, fry up the bacon in a 12" saute pan until crisp or chewy, whatever you like. Remove bacon, pour off all but about 1 or 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and reserve it. Add the olive oil to the remaining bacon fat, then add the sliced peppers, the green onions, and the clove of garlic, and saute over medium high heat until the peppers start to soften a bit. Add back in the bacon, pour in the white wine, turn up heat and boil off for a minute or so, then add sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. When the pasta is done, drain, pour into a big dish, add the sauteed pepper sauce (sans the garlic clove), chopped parsley, and toss. To add some richness, you can listen to the bad angel on your left shoulder and drizzle in a little of the bacon drippings you poured off earlier. A bit of freshly grated parmesan is a nice addition at the end.