I recently made a trip to Elements, our local Spanish tapas bar, to sample some of their extensive wine list. Elements focuses on both Oregon and Spanish wines, and being in a rather exotic mood, I decided this time to focus on the latter.
I began with a Borsao 2006 Garnacha, which was perhaps a bit difficult to get into. It needed a lot of agitation to open up, but once it did I was rewarded with a very fruity, crisp grenache that was light on the tannins and sort of peppery. It seemed to me to be full of bold, bright flavors and is certainly worth trying again. It costs less than $15 per bottle.
The next wine, however, was the prize of the evening. The Casa Castillo Monastrell is a beautiful, highly drinkable beverage. It's smooth and buttery, full of dark, forward fruit that completely overshadow the pleasant tannins that lurk in the background. Very drinkable, very recommended, and less than $10 a bottle.