Monday, December 31, 2007

Jumilla Spain and Monastrell Grape

Monastrell, cultivated in the Mediterranean region up to the southern portion of France (where it is also known as Mourvèdre) has a Spanish origin. It needs a Mediterranean climate to mature properly, with long, luminous summers. It has small spherical berries that are very dark enclosed within an abundant bloom. It makes intense wines with good tannic energy that soften when aged. It is often used in blends with velvety varieties such as Garnacha.

(Here is an aticle from the Rare Wine Co. newsletter relating to Bodegas Olivares and the Jumilla region of Spain.)

As Spain’s winemaking revolution continues to flourish, one of the next hot spots promises to be Jumilla, 150 miles southeast of Madrid. Along with Quinta do Noval’s Nacional vineyard and Bollinger’s Vignes Françaises, Jumilla was one of the few places in Europe spared during the Phylloxera epidemic of the late 1800’s. Virtually everywhere else on the continent, vineyards were devastated and, to this day, can only be planted when grafted onto American rootstock.
For Jumilla, the key to its vineyards’ survival was their sandy soil—which is resistant to the Phylloxera insect. As a glorious consequence, Jumilla not only has some of the oldest vines in the world, but also the largest number of ungrafted vines. Most of these vines are Mourvèdre—or Monastrell as it is locally known—one of the most prized varieties of Mediterranean Europe.
Jumilla’s summers boast hot days and cool nights, perfect for ripening grapes, while maintaining acidity.
Today, Jumilla is awakening to its vast potential, and a winemaking revolution has followed—led by growers like Olivares’ Paco Selva. He owns 65+ hectares of ungrafted old vineyards in the northern part of the appellation, in La Hoya de Santa Ana. It is the coolest sub-zone of Jumilla, with sandy, lime-rich soils that yield intensely aromatic wines, while protecting the ungrafted vines from Phylloxera.

1 comment:

Lynnell Morgan said...

Great Article on Jumilla