Finca Casa Balaguer, Tragolargo Monastrell, 2019 - Members Only
Finca Casa Balaguer
Producer: Finca Casa Balaguer
Region: Alicante, Spain
Alicante is a small wine region in Valencia, Spain that has recently been on the rise. Known for its dominant wine grape variety Monastrell, the region’s reputation as a mass producer has slowly been changing- focusing more on quality over quantity. In fact, Fondillon (a special style of wine produced in this region) is one of only five wines recognized by the EU as unique “luxury” wines.
Monastrell is a red wine grape variety that is native to Spain and is commonly used in blends, but the wine you’re sippin’ on is 100% Monastrell. It gets better… Monastrell in Alicante is particularly fresher than any other neighbouring region due to its soil and climatic conditions. The hot, dry conditions and limestone-dominant soils concentrate the fruit and allow for big, full-bodied wines that should be enjoyed with heavier dishes.
Finca Casa Balaguer is Andres Carull’s personal project dedicated to producing stripped-back, honest wines. Located across two different sites, one 600m above sea level in Villena and the other on the Meditterenaean coast, Andres believes that the less intervention with the grapes the better. He works exclusively with local grape varieties such as Monastrell, Garnacha, Moscate, etc. and farms all 20 hectares of vines organically and biodynamically.
In a glass, but in all seriousness, this is a wine that doesn’t take itself too seriously. For myself, I like to pop it in the fridge for maybe 10 minutes before serving, just enough chill to take the edge off.
Red berries from Raspberry to Cranberry with lovely notes of low growing and heartier herbs like thyme.
Berries, leather, herbs and all with a light acidity that help pull the wine together. Think young southern Rhone Valley, but with a softness you just can’t get from there.
Restaurant: The Crispy Pork Belly Burrito from DL Burgers. The wine is the perfect pairing to the crispy pork belly while the light acidity from the pickled daikon and carrot is matched by the wine.
Home: Tuna steaks, pork chops, chicken with a red wine sauce.
Other young and fun wines from the Alicante Region, Jumilia, and if you’re looking for the older bigger sibling? Hit up a lovely Cotes du Rhone or even a GSM from Australia.
A fun example of young and vibrant Monastrell. Something you don’t get to see that often.