Chopo Jumilla Monastrell 2015

The decision to place a striped horse on a bottle of Spanish wine might be inspirational. That, or plain weird. What it does is to make all other labels look pedestrian…which might or might not be an advantage.

What label inventiveness means is that a potential drinker wonders less about the contents and more about the bit on the outside. Frankly, zebras make me think of zoos, which, in my opinion, should all be banned. Animals shouldn’t be penned up like that; they should be free to kill and eat each other as nature intends.

Thorough investigation mutterinternetmutter reveals a few nuggets. The most pertinent for we wine neophytes is that monastrell is the same grape as mourverdre. Those nutty Europeens, confusticating life by naming the same thing differently just because the Pyrenees lie between them.

Dry spices, baking spices and cured meats emanate from delicious dark fruit. Big, soft, gravelly mouthfeel that’s somehow dry and juicy. There’s one of those wine mysteries that require another glass to investigate. Mouth-watering acids and surprisingly firm tannins.