2010Corias102010 Monasterio de Corias, 10 Meses Barrica, Vino de Calidad de Cangas, Spain.
This earthy and natural red from Asturias was a beautiful choice for Christmas eve dinner with friends, humble and unpretentious with an almost Barbera d’Asti like character, bright in acidity and with a dark garnet/ruby color, it is one of my favorites from northwestern Spain. Juan Redondo, the winegrower at Monasterio de Corias uses native yeasts, ferments in stainless and in some cases like this wine ages for short periods in French oak, here for example only 10 months to keep the delicacy and vitality. The grapes are all local, this cuvee breaks down with 45% Albarin Negro, 25% Mencía, 20% Carrasquín, 10% Verdejo Negro with the Albarin Negro giving a light Syrah impression and the Mencia giving the bell pepper almost Cabernet Franc feel, while the others add spice, fruit and complex details in this lighter style red, it comes in at 12.5% and has mild, silky tannins. The herb and dried flowers lead the nose with a sense of flinty/shale from the broken slate soils comes through as well, the mouth gets a lightly fruit dose of plum, cherry, beet and cranberry along with wild mushroom, gamey notes and all-spice with just of touch of cedar. This stylish, funky and almost raw red really drinks well with cuisine, it needs food to blossom and as mentioned it goes along a path that reminds me of Barbera, though you can also see a bit of Cru Beaujolais too. I’m a big fan of this winery and terroir, I may prefer the Joven, no oak offerings a little more, but this was a wonderful way to spend an evening, drink the Monasterio de Corias 10 Meses Barrica now, no cellaring needed!
($23 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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