Here's a swift trio of Spanish reds celebrating the moody Monastrell variety, aka Mourvedre or Mataro, which is grown substantially along and inland from Spain's Mediterranean coast, especially further south. The first one comes from near Albacete just inside the Castilla-La Mancha region on the border with Murcia, the grape's spiritual home perhaps, directly inland from Alicante where the other two are from.
Pago de Montal 2010 Monastrell - Smoky liquorice and peppery wild bramble fruits, firm solid and powerful with nice lingering dark vs savoury fruit. €10.99 ? Mitchell & Son, Dublin; £9.75 Martinez Wines, England.
Bodega Vinessens Sein 2011 Monastrell-Syrah - Enticing dark berry / cherry and black olive, concentrated with lightly firm tannins still, attractive savoury vs dark fruit finish. Good. €17.99 Wines on the Green/Celtic Whiskey Shop, Dublin.
Bodegas Artadi Laderas el Sequé 2012 Monastrell - Quite juicy fruity for Monastrell, more 'serious' on the palate with savoury black olive vs dark fruit and a touch of grip. Nice Med red. c. €15/£10 ? James Nicholson, Northern Ireland.