Another selection made by my wino boyfriend, this is one of his favorites (and now one of mine). It's made from the monastrell grape (also known as Mourvedre) in Jumilla and Miguel Gil, the winemaker, is pretty much the expert on both the grape and the region.
Verdict: This is a nice, inexpensive red that's very interesting and different. The first thing I noticed on this was the alcohol - you can smell it, taste it, and it's definitely on the high side (this wine has legs!). Also on the nose are a lot of the black fruits (currants, blackberries, or even black raspberries) as well as some vegetal notes and definitely a chocolate and coffee smell. On that palate, I got a lot of spice and smoke (most of which I can attribute to the French Oak barrels in which it was aged), and smooth, integrated tannins with a long, almost maple-y finish. To me, this wine was like a comfortable leather armchair, and I can just imagine sinking back into it while smoking a Cuban cigar...but I digress.
Pairing: This is a hearty wine, best paired with meats (although now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure we ate chicken! Still, I would recommend this with a steak or even better: a pulled pork barbecue sandwich. I know I always pair Zins with barbecue, but this would be another one that would be awesome with some Sweet Baby Rays!
Wine: Juan Gil Jumilla Red Wine, Vintage 2008
Price: ? Most websites offer between $7-10