The Jumilla area in southeastern Spain is massive purple wine nation. Scorching and dry, it’s the place the Monastrell grape thrives, accounting for about 80 % of Jumilla’s vines. In the event you’re not accustomed to Monastrell, it’s the grape recognized in France as Mourvèdre and is likely one of the mainstays of the Mediterranean wine world, the place it’s typically blended with Syrah and Grenache.
Monastrell produces darkish and concentrated wines, and the range ripens fantastically in Jumilla. The area’s finest wines are from higher-elevation vineyards, which profit from cooling influences that present balancing acidity.
That’s the case with Bodegas Olivares’s 2018 “Altos de la Hoya” Monastrell, an excellent worth at round $12. The grapes are grown in a winery that lies at about 2,700 toes and is farmed organically, with solely native yeasts utilized in its fermentation. All of this leads to a particular wine that actually out-performs at this value and needs to be on the high of your record in relation to strong, scrumptious, and inexpensive Spanish reds.
The wine is comparatively delicate with clean tannins, and it’s consuming fantastically proper now. There’s sufficient construction to help the ripe, darkish fruit tastes, together with blackberry and cassis, that are accented by touches of cocoa, black licorice, thyme, and moist stone. Alcohol is listed at 14.5 %, however the wine feels lighter resulting from its acidity.
That softness, concentrated fruit, and reasonable oak influence make this a wonderful wine for spicy and extremely seasoned meals. It was sensible with grilled pork chops coated with a marinade of cumin, turmeric, ginger, chili powder, and lime. I may also see it pairing effectively with Indian meals and different grilled meats.
Bodegas Olivares notes that its Monastrell grapes are from ungrafted old vines planted in their very own unique rootstock that survived the 19th-century phylloxera epidemic — “one thing distinctive that provides to the wine its distinctive character.” Certainly, this is likely one of the extra uncommon and rewarding Spanish reds I’ve just lately come throughout.