Enrique Mendoza La Tremenda Monastrell 2014 is immediately inviting with aromas of black cherries and hints of mediterranean herbs, spice, toast and cocoa. This is followed by rich cherry fruit flavours and nice savoury, ripe tannins. It has a lovely silky texture and very good length. Made from the Monastrell grape which is known as Mourvedre in France, where it plays a starring role in Chateauneuf du Pape.
It has spent 6 months in American oak barrels (2nd and 3rd year which gives a gentle oak nuance to this wine) and then was aged a further 12 months in bottle before release. This is a stylish, approachable wine which has received 92 points (very high marks) from the Wine Advocate, at a very good price.
José (Pepe) Mendoza now runs the family-run vineyads and Bodega with his brother Julian. He is passionate about his vineyards, as he says “the best wine is in the best vineyard”. His “Finca Chaconero” vineyards are in the hills near Villena about an hour north of Alicante, where cooling breezes and lower night time temperatures, assist the development of the vines. He uses organic principles; no herbicides or insecticides are used and careful pruning and care of the vines produces fresh, concentrated, high-quality grapes.
This wine takes its name from the vineyard where it is grown on the Finca Chaconero Estate; the 32 year old vines are now very much at home on the stony, chalky soils and are harvested by hand.
Pepe is modest about his winemaking skills, saying that the “finishing touches” are made in their underground winery in Alfaz de Pí in Alicante. This is where the wines are crafted and then aged in controlled temperatures and humidity; the result is world-class wines from this lesser known DO.
Food match: Grilled meats and chicken, especially Pork, Spicy Sausages like Chorizo, Tapas