Juan Gil, 4 Meses, DOP Jumilla, Spain, 2014
About Jumilla …
Inland from coastal Alicante, at 400-700m altitude. A hot continental climate with some Mediterranean influence, with a temperature range from 0C in winter to 40C+ in high summer. Low rainfall, most comes as heavy storms in late spring and autumn, no trees and little wildlife. Soils are hot dry sandy and calcareous – phylloxera did not arrive until the 1980s – so there has been experimentation with varieties. Irrigation can be used in emergencies – and there are lots of them. Monastrell accounts for 85% of plantings, with grenache, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, merlot , syrah and alicante bouscet; for the whites – airen, macabeo (aka viura), PX, malvasia, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and muscat.
Vines are traditionally low trained bush en vaso, new vineyards are spur pruned, cordon trained to wire.
Since the 1980s the focus has shifted from bulk to bottled wine, with modern winemaking bringing out monastrell’s perfumed spicy fruit character. Unoaked reds account for most production; oaked reds spend up to a year in barrel, but oak can dominate monastrell if not careful – as seems to be with this example.
This wine: varietal monastrell (aka mourvedre, mataro), natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, widely available, £6-7 (2015)
Consumer tasting note: full-bodied, low-key tannic structure supported by acidity, dry, balanced and smooth, mouth-filling ripe black fruits, some red, lots of toast and spice, but neither complex nor a lengthy finish.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, youthful, with aromas of toast (quite strong) reducing with time, a whiffs of liquorice and flowers, cinnamon, sweet black cherry, red plum and red cherry.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (-) smooth ripe tannins, medium (+) alcohol and a full body, with a smooth texture, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of black cherry and black berry, ripe red plum and cherry, spice – cinnamon and vanilla. A medium length with a sweet ripe red plum finish.
Quality: a good quality wine, the toasty note from time in oak is quite dominant, otherwise well-balanced with acidity and smooth tannins in keeping with alcohol and intensity; lots of spice and black fruits, with good concentration; lacks complexity and length.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: drink now, not suitable for further ageing – lacks complexity and length.