This fascinating red wine is a Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz. In other words, it's from sherry country, where there was an old tradition of making red wines that had largely lapsed. A small-scale revival has got underway this century, helped along by the granting of the Vino de la Tierra designation in 2005.
Moncloa is produced by the González family of González Byass and Tio Pepe sherry fame from their own vineyards and is a blend that includes what they say is an ancestral indigenous variety called Tintilla de Rota that had almost died out. According to Wine Grapes (Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz), it's a synonym of Graciano. Either way it's interesting that it should be in Jerez, albeit in a very limited way.
The blend itself is unusual too: in descending order, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Tintilla de Rota and Cabernet Franc. Tintilla is the last variety to be harvested. In the case of 2017, a very hot, dry year, the final grapes were picked on 22 August, the Merlot harvest having started on 8 August.
What's the wine like? I thought you'd never ask. It's a deep, saturated colour with ripe but bright aromas of violets, plums, blueberries, cocoa and toasted oak (it was aged in French and American barrels for almost a year). On the palate, it's full and intense with clean-lines and fresh herb notes running through the dark fruit and with ripe, polished tannins and neatly integrated oak. Altogether complete, satisfying and full of interest.
It goes well with venison and red meat – roast, grilled, with sauces or in casseroles – and can handle some spice, so goes well spicy vegetable dishes (and is suitable for vegans). You could also serve it with Christmas turkey if you're having the full complement of stuffings, sauces, side dishes and other extras. 14.5%. Bottle weight; 554g.
Finca Moncloa 2017, Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain
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