Friday, July 8, 2011

2009 Yellow+Blue Monastrell: Bring Your Own Straw

It is summer, that time when many of us will take vacations, or just day trips. We might go hiking, lay out on the beach, take a boat ride, go fishing, and more. During such activities, it would be more difficult to bring a glass bottle of wine with you. There is its added weight, the risk of broken glass, worrying about whether you brought a corkscrew, etc. But, as I have mentioned before, there is a better alternative, wine in a Tetra Pak.

In essence, wine in a Tetra Pak is like a grownup juice box, but without a straw (though I think adding a straw would be cool). It is lighter than a glass bottle, better for the environment and there is no need for a corkscrew. Besides the packaging though, it is important that it contains delicious wine.  No matter how environmentally friendly the packaging, if the wine is of poor quality, then it fails. In addition, it would be best if the wine was reasonably priced.

My favorite producer of Tetra Pak wines is Yellow+Blue Wines, which produces only organic wines from several different regions across the world. I first wrote about their wines two years ago, and have also posted individual reviews of their Rosé (a 2009 & 2010 top ten wine under $15) and Sauvignon Blanc.  They produce tasty wines, and a liter Tetra Pak (one-third more wine than a usual 750ml glass bottle) sells for only about $12, making it an excellent value as well. I also recommend these wines year round, and not just for summer activities.   

Yellow+Blue has just released their newest wine, a 2009 Monastrell (about $12/liter) from the Jumilla region of Spain.  Monastrell, also known in other region as Mourvedre or Mataro, is one of my favorite grapes so I was very excited when I learned Yellow+Blue would be producing this wine. They sent me a sample and I recently drank it with a couple burgers, which worked out to be a good pairing.

The Monastrell is made from hand harvested grapes and indigenous yeast, only sees stainless steel and has an alcohol content of 13.8%.  It is nearly opaque, a dark purple in color, and has a nose of plum and blackberry, with hints of spice.  Its taste provides flavors of ripe plum, black raspberry, a little blueberry and plenty of intriguing spice notes. It is a full bodied wine, with well integrated tannins, and a fairly lengthy finish. For the price, you get a tasty wine with character, which is also better than many other similarly priced wines.

This wine would be a good choice for BBQ, burgers, steak, hearty pasta dishes, and more. The Tetra Pak makes it very convenient, and if you are concerned about sustainability, it is also a good environmental selection. Yellow+Blue has another winner on their hands.

Update: Jim over at VineGeek also posted a positive review of this wine so check it out.


Jason Phelps said...

I was waiting for this to be out! Now I gotta find some.


Hadley at The Urban Grape said...

Available at The Urban Grape today!

Jim Wilkerson / VINEgeek said...

I just blogged this wine a few days ago. I enjoyed it, too. It's cool to see a Monastrell in this format. You and I share a love for Mourvèdre/Monastrell/Mataro (remember WBW #69 - the Curse of the Dog Strangler?)

I updated my post to link to yours. Spreading the Mourvèdre love!

Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks Jim! And I have added a link to your review as well.