Natural Merchants introduces Spanish Tarantas Monastrell, made with 100 percent organically grown grapes. Based in Grants Pass, Oregon, and Cartagena, Spain, Natural Merchants is pleased to be a leading importer and distributor of the finest natural and organic foods, as well as organic and biodynamic wines. They source their products directly from the Mediterranean.

This wine is really delicious, and I really like the Taurus the Bull symbol on their label.

Talk to me about anything organic and you’ve got my attention. Plus, I enjoyed this wine on Earth Day… a great way to celebrate!

Honestly, any organic wine is an “Earth Day Celebration” in my world, regardless of the date….

I do remember years ago, my first bottle of organic wine left a lot to be desired, because by the time we tried to enjoy it, it was oxidized… Which is why I just wrote, “tried to enjoy it.” We let it go too long before opening it.

The lesson? Don’t try to age these wines. Organically grown grapes aren’t sprayed with sulfur, which does help to let the wines age a bit more. The amounts of sulfur are miniscule; however, extra sulfur is still an additive, giving the wines a longer shelf life, and less opportunity for it to oxidize early in its aging process.

So when you’re buying, you’re buying to shortly enjoy.

FOOD PAIRINGS: This unique red is yummy with grilled meats and vegetables, Tapas, and/or cheese dishes.

WINE CENTURY CLUB:  The Tarantas Monastrell is a great wine to have if you’re working on your Wine Century Club certification. Have you ever tasted a Monastell? This was my first time, and I got to add it to my list of 145 varieties already tasted. (I’m headed toward my 200 [Doppel] certification).

To get the certificate, you have had to taste at least 100 different varieties of wine grapes. While this may seem like a simple task, in the US, you’re going to hit the wall at about 60. Even for a lot of wine pros, this is going to happen. If you’re not in the import business, the US varieties top out at 60 as the most used and easiest to find through wholesalers and importers.


Tarantas Monastrell is grown in the Jumilla region in southeast Spain on a high plateau surrounded by mountains. It enjoys a continental climate influenced by the Mediterranean Sea with warm days and cool nights, with over 3,000 hours of sunshine annually and an average rainfall that does not exceed 12 inches per year. Its soils are coarse textured with stony, sandy clay with an abundance of limestone. This soil produces grapes with thicker skins and in small clusters, with good sugar concentration and excellent acidity. All of these characteristics result in the production of intensely colored wines, which are very aromatic, fruity, tasty, rich and powerful on the palate. The suggested retail price is $11.99.

Created as a DO in 1966, Jumilla has undergone a revolution of sorts in the past few decades. A new generation of wines has caused the region to blossom and exports have increased accordingly. The Jumilla region has been called one of Spain’s fastest growing regions for high quality wines. Wine critic Robert Parker predicts “By 2015, those areas that have traditionally produced Spain’s finest wines will have assumed second place behind such up-and-coming regions as Tora, Jumilla and Priorat.”

The Monastrell grape grows well in the flat vineyards and warm, rocky soils of the region, taking up 80% of the vineyard land of Jumilla. The Monastrell reds from Jumilla are full-bodied with flavors of black fruits and plums. Tarantas Monastrell has a deep black cherry color with purple violet hues. The nose is clean, and fragrant, with bouquet of spice box, violets and blueberry. The wine has a smooth texture, with savory red fruits, soft and round tannins, well-balanced acidity, and a pure finish.

“Monastrell is one of Spain’s top 5 wines, and one that truly embodies the unique terroir in which it is grown,” says Edward Field of Natural Merchants. “We are constantly seeking unique varietals to offer throughout the United States and are delighted to add this 100% organically grown Monastrell to our portfolio.”

Tarantas is one of many fine organic labels presented by Natural Merchants, LLC, one of North America’s leading Importers and Distributors of the finest natural and organic wines direct from the European and Mediterranean regions. The company continually strives to bring the highest quality and most innovative organic wines to the U.S. market.

The Natural Merchants Selections program highlights more than 150 carefully selected wines from Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Greece and Portugal, grown in unique organic terroir, each vineyard producing clean, fresh superior wines that are both good for the earth and tantalizing for the palate.

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