Twenty-six Monty Real, the youngest of the three wines, was the hundredth Tempranillo. It was medium-bodied and not particularly concentrated although its spicy, herbal flavors were long in the mouth, as was its tannins. I liked the grace of it and imagined it would develop complexity, but it didn’t strike me as a wine that developed over decades.
How Long Can a Monty Real Develop? While tasting many old Monty reels last year, the bottles of 1942, 1955 and 1964 were absolutely fantastic. I don’t think 2010 will make it this far.
The 24 la Rioja Alta 904, 90 percent Temaranillo and 10 percent Graciano were similarly spicy and herbal, with soft fruit flavors, yet it added more concentration, complexity and intensity, with inherent earthiness. It was a beautiful wine now, but I think it will become even more interesting in the next 20 years.
The 20 Fa Faustino I – 5 percent Temeranillo, 3 percent Graciano and 3 percent Mazzolo – were the oldest of the three. Considering the color of the wine, from ruby to brick just starting to fade around the edges, it was, not surprisingly, the most developed.
Its tannins were still scarred, but the aroma was catching up with the attractive, dried flowers and balsam. With it on the palate I had a combination of deliciously fun fruit and oak with tobacco, mineral content.
I have to say, the opaque, frosted Faustino Eye bottle with the Rembrandt label is kind of weird. The “timeless icon,” reads the label, which seems a bit hysterical for a minimalist wine. Further down is a motto, “Dition is not inherited, it is won”, which seems to be the kind of crap the proverbial wrestler would shout: “Faustino Can you smell what I’m cooking?? “
I decanted each of these wines and drank them for a long four days, just to see what would happen. They all improved, giving a further indication that these were still young, fun wines. Readers who decant similarly, even if they didn’t follow the wines for a long time, saw improvement.