Winemaker Tasting: Victor Villar, Castillo de Monjardin

April 4, 2017 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Crystal City Wine Shop
220 20th St S
Arlington, VA 22202

Castillo de Monjardín sits in the northwest corner of Navarra in the foothills of the Pyrenées, not far from the French border. Monjardín’s 300+ acres of vineyard lie on sunny slopes at an average altitude of 1,800 feet and are cooled by the Cierzo wind from the mountains. Monjardín’s unique microclimate and the winemaking skills of proprietor-winemaker Victor Villar yield wines of singularly intense aroma, full flavor and firm structure. All wines are single-vineyard bottlings, fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak.

The Wines:

  • El Cerezo Unoaked Chardonnay 2015: This wiMonjardin Tastingne is named for the cherry tree which grows in the middle of the ‘El Cerezo’ estate vineyard. Its limestone and clay soils, coupled with a microclimate that allows for a long, cool growing season, make this vineyard prized for producing some of the best Chardonnay in the Navarra, if not Spain itself. The grapes are cold soaked on their skins for eight hours, so despite the fact that it sees no oak, the final wine shows richness and creaminess balanced by a lovely acidity. This wine is a perfect accompaniment for roast pork tenderloin, chicken saltimbocca, or crab-stuffed flounder. 100% Chardonnay
  • El Cerezo Pinot Noir 2013: Made from 100% Pinot Noir that is harvested in October. One of the few Pinot Noir’s grown in Spain, it is from a 10 acre block of the “El Cerezo” vineyard that is 30 years old. It was planted on clay and limestone. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks for ten days and later aged in French oak barrels for 9 months. Silky, with a long, refined finish. On the palate is very elegant, well balanced with flavors of red berries. This wine pairs excellently with salmon, sushi, risotto and chicken curry.
  • La Cantera Garnacha 2015: This Garnacha is sourced exclusively from 70-year-old vines on the estate’s “La Cantera” vineyard, which sits at an altitude of 1,500 feet. “La Cantera” translates as “quarry,” referring to the vineyard’s poor, rocky soil. Only old-vine Garnacha, whose roots run deep and which produce very low yields, seems able to thrive in this arid terrain. The grapes are hand-picked at optimal ripeness, fermented in stainless steel, and then aged for six months in second-passage oak. Bright ruby-red in color with violet reflections, this wine offers fresh aromas of blackberries, plums, a hint of violets and toasted oak. Pair with hearty stews, paella, and gazpacho. 85% Garnacha and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Crianza Coupage Selección 2010: A barrel selection from the estate vineyards, this blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Tempranillo, and 20% Merlot shows what is possible in Navarra. It is aged for twelve months in French oak barrique, attaining a “Crianza” status. An intense cherry color, this wine shows aromas of ripe black fruit, licorice, and sweet spice. The mouthfeel is rounded with smooth tannins and excellent balance. It pairs well with red meat and hearty pasta dishes.
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