Bodegas Castaño (Spain) Hécula 1999
This wine has already picked up 92 precious points from American critic Robert Parker. A blend of the Monastrell (known in France as Mourvèdre) and Merlot, the wine benefits from subtle oak ageing to present a nose of sour cherries, spice and stewed fruit compote, buttressed by silky sweet vanilla. On the palate it is poised and elegant, betraying its 14% alcohol. The medium-bodied wine fills the mouth with sweet-edged blackberry and plum fruit, again a warm clove spice note, and generous slightly coffee-flavoured oaky finish. There is good acidity, terrific purity of fruit singing through, and a long, well-balanced finish. An elegant yet powerful wine, and just delightful. This also has the structure to cellar for five years.