Carchelo 2000 Jumilla ($7.99)
Very dark garnet, with bright glints of reddish-purple against the light. Subtle and earthy, red berries, cherries and hints of "tree bark," a pleasant earthy woodiness that I often find in Mourvedre (or as the Spanish call it, Monastrell). Ripe fruit and barky notes gain presence when the glass is swirled. Full-bodied, dry and tannic, lots of fruit and soft, fuzzy tannins, a texture so full that the wine almost seems "chewy." Plum and berry flavors are balanced by snappy acidity in a long finish. US Importer: Classical Wines from Spain, Seattle. (Jun 30, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: I coated chicken with a tart-sweet glaze of red miso and Asian spice to bring it up to this hearty wine; try it also with rare steaks.



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