The 1999 Hacienda Monasterio is from Ribera del Duero in Spain, and is made from tempranillo (70%), cabernet sauvignon (15%) and merlot (15%). The nose was beautiful and aromatic, with an overwhelming scent of vanilla. The bouquet also included scents of rose, black cherry, heavy oak, pine, pepper, smoke, maybe even some caramel. "Smells like dessert", to quote my notes. The taste matched this terrific nose. This well-balanced, full-bodied red had was amazing - powerful and elegant, soft and tannic, all at the same time. The soft glycerin/fruity taste finished off with a "walloping tannic follow through, firm acidity, Bordeaux-like". A very long finish. Very nice indeed. This wine should continue to improve, a theory I can test on the 3 other bottles in my cellar. I think it is important to note that this wine paired very well with our meal, accentuating rather than overpowering the dinner. Note this wine was the winner of our first Spanish tasting (see July 2004 post), and was a top wine at our Champions tasting in November 2004.
Had this with BBQ'd lamb chops (breaking my lamb/shiraz rule...). This would pair well with many different types of food, but especially the BBQ.