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90+ point rated wines under $20

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2005 Cass Winery Mourvèdre****
cassMourvedre.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $34 @ the Winery 12/12/07
A medium-bodied, ruby-colored wine with a nose full of smoke, spice and blackberry. The soft tannins make this a beauty right from the first sip full of ripe dark fruits, vanilla and a touch of pepper on the long, lingering finish. More elegant than most Mourvèdres, the lush mouthfeel keeps you coming back for more. Our new go to wine and one that impresses every time we share it. (15.25% abv)

Had another bottle recently (3/3/08) which we didn't finish and it was even better the second day. Wow. Great now, but will reward another year in the bottle.

Had one of our final bottles (2/7/11) and was pleasantly surprised by how well it was holding on. Has more depth and complexity than the 06 does right now. While I will certainly be drinking my last bottle soon, this wine is still drinking beautifully. 3 stars.

2005 4 Joes' Mourvèdre Thompson Vineyard**
4joesmourvedre.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Santa Barbara, CA $25 Beverly Hills Wine and Cheese 12/5/08
A garnet/ruby-colored, medium-bodied wine with aromatics of ripe red fruit, oak and sweet spice. Initially fairly acidic, the wine did smooth out, showing flavors of red berries, blueberry and sweet spice with hints of vanilla and notes of meat on the moderate finish. Though well-crafted with good fruit and interesting flavors, the wine still lacked unity and focus that I think more time in the bottle will correct. (52 cases).

2005 Bogedas Juan Gil Monastrell**
juangil.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Jumilla, Spain $16 Vendome Wine 5/27/08
A deep, ruby/purple colored wine with aromas of dark berries, plum, sweet spice, earth and smoke. Initially, with our spicy basque chicken, the palate was soft with ripe fruit, spices and a vanilla-tinged, dusty finish. Without the food, the wine was much tighter with an herbaceousness that took a while to blow off. Much firmer tannins and not as full and fruit forward. Not bad on it's own, just not as mouthfilling and pleasurable. A solid taste of what mourvedre is all about.

2005 Bogedas Piqueras Valcanto Monastrell*
valcanto.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Almansa, Spain $11 Mission Wines 5/22/08
A deep, ruby/purple colored wine with aromas of black fruit, smoke, leather and a tinge of vegetalness. The palate is full-bodied with flavors of blackberry, black cherry, cedar and sweet spice with firm tannins and hints of vanilla on the dusty finish. If I didn't know better I would have sworn this was a Cab Franc, due to an inherent greenness that persisted well into the second night. Not as earthy or spicy as most Mourvedres. Not bad for $11, just nothing memorable.

2005 RN Estate Vineyard Mourvèdre***
05RNMourvedre.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $30 Wade's Wines 12/23/09
A pale, ruby-colored wine with deep aromatics of red berries, black cherry, earth, sweet spice and hints of smoke. The palate is light-medium-bodied and round with ripe fruit flavors of strawberry, raspberry and earth with notes of meat, cola and vanilla on the lush finish. Elegant and well-balanced with great depth of flavor that enticed sip after sip. Was a bit tight upon opening, so we aerated it to round it out. While certainly lovely now, it could go another year or two in the bottle. Buy it if you find it. A great introduction to Paso Mourvedre.

2005 Wrongo Dongo Monastrell*
Region Price Purchased Drank
Jumilla, Spain $10 Wine.com 9/10/07
A medium-bodied, ruby-colored wine with a nose full of earth, game and blackberry. Medium acidity and soft tannins, allow the dark fruit, spice and leather flavors to come through. Ripe and slightly vegetal, this is not overly complex, yet still richly flavored.

OTHER RATINGS: Robert Parker: 87

2004 Garretson Wine Company Mourvèdre**
garrestonM.jpeg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $30 @ the Winery 1/24/08
A full-bodied, opaque wine (it's unfiltered) with big berry aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, leather, spice and a bit of stewed tomatoes. On the palate it was fruity and soft with notes of blackberry, roasted cherry, earth and a hint of tar. Not as balanced as I anticipated, but a wine with distinct flavors and rustic appeal. Drink it if you've got some. This wine won't be getting any better.

OTHER RATINGS: Robert Parker: 89

2004 Las Renas Barrica Monastrell*
lasrenas04mon.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Bullas, Spain $13 Colorado Wine Company 11/16/09
A medium, ruby/purple-tinged colored wine with dull aromas of black fruit with notes of earth and smoke. The palate was initially tannic and tight, so I aerated the wine, which help round it out a bit, but left it still a bit rustic. Medium-bodied with flavors of blackberry, plum and earth with noted of black cherry and sweet spice on the fairly short and dusty finish. Was hoping that this would open up more and deliver on it's potential, but it stayed fairly one-note and muddled for the entire night. There are much better versions of Mourvedre/Monastrell coming out of Spain for equal or less money. More enjoyable than drinking water, but not by much.

2004 Minassian-Young Vineyards Mourvèdre**
myoungmourvedre.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $28 Wandering Dog Wine Bar 6/29/08
A medium-bodied, ruby/garnet colored wine with bright aromas of red fruit, strawberry, sweet spice and hints of oak and earth. The mouthfeel was pretty soft with low acidity but firm tannins and flavors of red berries, plum, vanilla and a medium finish with hints of mocha and spice. What kept this wine from getting three stars was the lack of complexity and depth on the mid-palate. The start and finish were both really good, but it just sort of laid there in the middle. A nice first effort. Looking forward to the 05 version.

2001 Bedford Thompson Mourvèdre***
Region Price Purchased Drank
Santa Barbara County, CA $22 @ the Winery 9/14/07
Dark, opaque and dense, the rich black currant, plum fruit character is enhanced by a spicy, clove fragrance and an intriguing forest scent. Silky soft tannins make the finish long and enjoyable. Lush, full-bodied and intense with a slight rustic touch.

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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