I make a point to revisit favorite wine shops I patronized (read: spent too much money in) in the 80’s and early 90’s on each visit to my old home towns in New York and Long Island. This past week I stopped into discounter Bottles & Cases on East Main Street in Huntington, LI while staying with close friends in a charmingly tucked away enclave of north shore beach homes on the South shoreline of Huntington Bay. I grabbed a bunch of the 2005 Bodegas Sierra Salinas Casa Mira for $20 to taste with that evening’s peasant Italian dinner which was to unfold as reminiscent of so many Italian family food celebrations I revelled in while growing up and living in New York.
I had heard about this winery that was acquired years ago by the Castano family who has been exporting Monastrell from Yecla for some time. They teamed with Eric Solomon to bring the really strong Solonera value to the US market with good success and have now set up shop with Bodegas Sierra Salinas in Alicante. Some further research uncovers a pretty strong facility investment at this winery named after the mountain that stands between Yecla and Alicante, including a three level gravity flow environment.
The wine stands out from the simpler and more immediately enjoyable wines from Yecla that the Castanos fashion. The Casa Mira is composed of 65% Monastrell, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Garnacha. It is first and foremost more powerful on attack. With a blackish purple color it offers sweet toasty wood that combines with tarry aromas. Flavors of rich black and blue fruit are followed by peppery notes. There is a serious finish to the wine which coats the sides of your tongue for over a minute. There are hard tannins evident in the finish, and I believe that the 2005 Casa Mira will benefit from bottle age with enough fruit packing to withstand some required time in the cellar.
I recommend the 2005 Bodegas Sierrra Salinas Casa Mira for anyone interested in a more serious Spanish value of bold complexity for current drinking that will advance and become easier to access with some cellaring.