Mad Dogs & Englishmen 2003 Jumilla ($9.99)
Produced by the Bodegas y Viñedos de Murcia cooperative, this blend of 30% Syrah (identified on the label as "Shiraz"), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Monastrell (Mourvèdre) shows a very dark blackish-purple in the glass. Plums and blackberries add a hint of "red meat" in the aroma. Bright and juicy black-fruit flavors focus on berries with snappy acidity for structure. Smooth tannins emerge as the berry fruit fades to lemon in a long finish. It's a good wine, despite a bit of a "hole in the middle" where it seems a bit light between the fruity first impression and the tart, tannic finish. US Importer: Click Imports, Seattle. (Nov 20, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Black fruit, tannins and acidity make it a natural with steaks, specifically rare pan-seared locally produced rib eyes.



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