Star Selection: 2005 Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil ($16)
This third-generation, family-owned Spanish producer makes a variety of red wines under different labels. This bottling, full of ripe wild-berry fruit and light smoky notes, is a steal.
2006 Bodegas Silvano García Viñahonda Tinto Cosecha ($10)
Winemaker Silvano García Abellán blends Monastrell with small amounts of Tempranillo, Syrah and Merlot for this juicy red. Its flavor recalls black plums and cracked black pepper.
2006 Bodegas Agapito Rico Carchelo ($11)
Agapito Rico’s 175-acre vineyard, located in a mountain valley in Spain’s Jumilla region, produces powerful, dark Monastrell, as is clear from this wild berry–flavored red. A small percentage of organically farmed Syrah adds a note of tarry depth.