Castano Monastrell 2007 wine review by (PB)
Real time review:
I just opened this Spanish varietal and the bouquet floats from the glass about a foot and a half to my nose with light milk chocolate and red fruit. On the swirl there is a little spice and some herbal hints and then a fairly awkward aroma I would describe as stinky fruit.
Palate--Cinnamon and green first impression with hot, shallow flavors with a finish that is once again herbal and a bit clunky. Some of this might relax as it has time to open.
Okay--15 minutes later (not a great deal of time but...) indeed it has relaxed a bunch and is fairly "okay." The bouquet reminds me of a dirty urinal (I was a janitor MANY years ago as a teenager) and yet--this will sound weird to be sure--it is a sweet, fruity, dirty urinal kind of smell that is a bit intriguing.
I'm sure the folks that make this wine are thrilled with this review--but the Monastrell grape tends to be a bit like this. And if my description of the odor seems positively negative, remember that some very classy Pinot Noirs are sometimes described as having a barnyard like smell on opening!
So, at $8, if you enjoy Monastrell, you should enjoy this. Raise a glass but maybe wear a handkerchief over your nose. :)
Post real-time review reflections: The wine is considerably better and just needed time to air out. The nice "urinal" smell I mentioned in the real time review is gone and this turns out to be a very decent wine! Moral of the story: be sure to breath even cheap red wines; it can mean a BIG difference!