Quinta Spectacular

Dark garnet with basically no edge.  Big sediment.  Huge oak.  Stemmy green squished-bug bell-pepper oak, sweet and nearly obfuscating of the dense, rich black-cherry fruit lurking behind.  Massive spice-cake decadence slathered heavily on rusty steel minerality headed almost dusty-orange and match-head.  I have never smelled a wine from Valle de Guadalupe this rich, this complexidly over-powering in its singularity toward elegant smothering.  Warm, round tropical muskiness blends in late-breathing, still undaunted by the oak, and displaying more packed fruit in all directions.

This is an interesting place to visit in Baja wine country.  A little hard to find at first.  Let me re-phrase that:  Ten years ago it was very difficult to find, but now with our phones working down there and wine-tourism exploding and good signage and street-markings everywhere, it is very easy to locate.  The proprietors are true ambassadors for the Valle, traveling extensively in America to promote their wines in luxury settings.  The wines are NOT cheap, but they pride themselves on making a product able to stand up to the best of Italy, Spain and France.  Wait–did I leave out California?  OK, fine.  And the best of California.  See, California has done its best to make sure absolutely NO ONE stateside have any knowledge of Mexican wines, and they’ve done a very good job of it for decades.  Now the cat is out of the bag.  Americans are being turned on to both the long wine-history and the fabulous wines of Baja in DROVES, importing is becoming common, and labels are popping up everywhere.  Ian Cauble is making a Valle de Guadalupe wine–one that is heavily marketed in the U.S.  The Dark ages are over.  It’s time you visited Baja wine country!

In the mouth, crisp and clean, acid-backed, nothing NEARLY as flabby as you might expect from judging the nose.  The transition is quite remarkable.  Bright, shining citrus surrounding gorgeous early-season spring fruit, chewy tannins fighting to the forefront as the clairvoyant mouth-feel dominates all.  An ethereal mouth-feel–making mockery of big-bouqueted monsters who go all obese on the tongue.  I’m completely torn on what the alcohol would be on this.  My nose says 14-8 and my mouth says 13-oh.  This is a brilliant wine.  One well worth the search–and the price.

2012 QUINTA MONASTERIO Tempranillo Valle de Guadalupe Ensenada Baja Mexico 13.5



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