Bodegas Castillo de Monjardín Finca los Carasoles Reserva 1994
Tucked in the foothills of the Pyrenées along the French Border in Navarra, Castillo de Monjardín’s estate was originally a way station along the famous pilgrimage route from Paris to Santiago de Campostella. Its proximity and historic cultural links to France provide a winemaking tradition based on Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, distinct from the rest of Spain. Monjardín does, however, make good use of the Garnacha that has made Navarra famous for its fresh, fruity rosés and lush, fruit-forward reds. Castillo de Monjardín sits in the northwest corner of Navarra in the foothills of the Pyrenées, not far from the French border. Monjardín’s 300+ acres of vineyard lie on sunny slopes at an average altitude of 1,800 feet and are cooled by the Cierzo wind from the mountains. Monjardín’s unique microclimate and the winemaking skills of proprietor-winemaker Victor Villar yield wines of singularly intense aroma, full flavor and firm structure. All wines are single-vineyard bottlings, fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.