At a glance:
I was in Ensenada, Mexico for a bachelor party a little while back and managed to work some wine tasting into that trip. Although I was pushing wine tasting as the central weekend theme, my two traveling companions were more interested in surfing than tasting, so I only managed to convince them to hit up one tasting room, which happened to be the same place we were spending the night – Quinta de Monasterio.
It took us a little while to get there, driving dusty roads, and myself and the future groom were uncertain navigators, so we left it up to his very able younger brother, who managed to find his way with a combination of confidence, a sense of direction, and a splash of trial and error.
I should mention, before the wine part, that the lunch preceding was one of the best meals I have ever had (and without a doubt the best lunch). The meal was at Chef Roberto Alcocer’s Malva, a lovely outdoor spaced nestled into a hill on a farm. The farm was both the originator of most of the food we ate, and the soundtrack for our meal, with bleating goats and chirping birds the only noises around as we had a long, relaxed, and well coursed out meal. Everything was good – beautiful, portioned perfectly, and balanced perfectly, a rustic meal that managed to be interesting and inventive while still completely recognizable. The staff were great and the setting was beautiful – bottom line here is if you are even remotely close to the place, do yourself a favor and go.
In any case, we were in a decidedly good mood by the time we arrived at our airbnb on the grounds of Qunita de Monasterio. The grounds were lovely, our hosts were amazing, and after a tasting I decided to buy a bottle of their chardonnay.
It made it back on the plane safely (always a victory in my book), and we opened it the other day, now a few months removed from the trip. It was interesting, a darker yellow than most chardonnays I have had, with a more condensed flavor than I am used to. It was a little grassy, and weirdly a little bit like apple juice, though not in a bad way. It finished with a concentrated, slightly spicy celery/carraway flavor that I really can’t describe, but tasted quite good. An interesting wine for sure, and while I would love to book another trip to dine at Malva, I’m not sure I’ll find this wine much of anywhere until then. A good one though, and if you find yourself in Ensenada, do yourself a favor and swing by Quinta de Monasterio (and Malva!).