Another wine post about Devotion? But of course! We are all answering the call set out by our fellow wine blogger SAHMmelier for the monthly wine writing challenge (MWWC). She won the gold medal last time with her entry for the Mystery-themed challenge, so now she has the honor of choosing this month’s theme! You can read all the posts – and those from previous challenges – over at the MWWC blog by clicking on the awesome wine stain logo. So what is my take on Devotion?
Well, first let me say that I have been well reminded what devotion means and what it can do as I watch the Olympic athletes compete. In sport after sport, the backstory pieces about the competitor’s lives are constant reminders and shining examples of devotion. Take, for example, the Russian pairs figure skater Maxim Trankov. In order to train, he left his family home at 15 and had to sleep in the basement of an ice skating rink among a bunch of soldiers who were billeted there. In addition, he received one (evidently only one) free meal a day there. For three years! Mr. Trankov is now the proud owner (with his partner Tatiana Volosozhar) of an Olympic gold medal. But he is not the only athlete with this kind of story. I’m sure we would hear many similar and perhaps even more compelling stories from other athletes competing – most of whom will not end up with a ribbon around their neck.
As I’ve been watching these Winter Games from my comfy couch, I’ve been devoting myself to a little wine exploration. One of my recent 2014 Winter Olympics wines was the Tarima Organic Monastrell 2011 which has it’s own story of devotion to tell. Or perhaps, more precisely, it’s label is devoted to a particular message. Take a quick look at the picture of the bottle Did you notice? This wine was made with certified organic grapes. In case you missed it on the front, it is repeated on the back label — FIVE times. I kid you not! In their defense, Bodegas Volver does produce a Tarima Monastrell that isn’t made with organic grapes.
Winemaker: Tarima by Bodegas Volver
Wine: Tarima Made With Organic Grapes
Appellation: Alicante DO, Spain
Price: $9.99 at Whole Foods
Notes: This Spanish Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre) was a deep dark garnet color. The bouquet held musty earth, dark red fruit, wet leather and mothball scents. Body on this selection was fairly light with a softly plush mouthfeel. Tannins were moderately grippy and lingering. Acidity was good and alcohol was at 14.5%. On the palate I tasted violets, dark plum, and black olive with a finish of bitter wood. And that despite the fact that it was evidently fermented in stainless steel.
Now that I’ve finished getting this post up, I’ll get back to watching athletes devoted to their sports and (at an acceptable hour) my own wine exploration. I suppose if I were more devoted — to either/both — I could have typed this up while sitting on the couch in front of the TV and sipping wine. Sigh!
Addendum: As I tasted this bottle, I wondered about the possibility of cork taint. The bouquet was fairly unusual, to be sure. So I decided to look around and see what others have said about this selection. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much on this vintage of the organic Monastrell besides at the Bodegas Volver web page. The flavor profile I tasted is certainly on the darker side than what is described by the winery. Of course, I often don’t agree with precisely what a winery says about it’s own wines. That being said, they do mention “toasty barrel power” which agrees with my bitter wood even though they use only stainless steel. So … If anyone else has tasted this wine and can share their own thoughts, I’d be very interested to read your comments.