Winemaker: Bartolo Abellán
Grape: 100% Monastrell
Region: Jumilla, Spain
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Jumilla, in southern Spain, is considered the most important area for growing Monastrell in the world. It has been cultivated in this region for some centuries. The winery was originally founded in 1916 by Juan Gil Giménez, a great-grandfather of Angel and Miguel Gil Vera.
The two brothers, carrying the family tradition today, are honoring the memory of their ancestor not only by their devotion and passion for the Jumilla’s most famous grape variety, but also by carrying his name on the building – Bodegas Juan Gil.
Their new cellar, located on family property at Término de Arriba is the highest place in Jumilla. When I visited Bodegas Juan Gil few years back, it was a very hot and windy there. I bet that’s their daily experience. Building their cellar this high created a great position to oversee the family vineyards. And the quality of wine coming from this bodegas must be making Angel and Miguel’s great-grand father very proud.
Gil brothers improved their winemaking technology significantly and personally oversee all daily operations. Although they are not overly ambitious but both very focused on quality of wine, they shortly became one of the most important Spanish wine producers of today. But high quality of their Wrongo Dongo and Juan Gil is just the beginning of the long list of outstanding wine projects this family is involved in, throughout the Spain.
Grapes for Juan Gil were sourced from 40 years old vineyards around the Bodegas Juan Gil (700 m above sea level). The lean, calcareous, rocky limestone soil, poor in nutrients, low rainfalls and extreme changes of temperatures are putting a lot of stress on vines. Therefore low yielded Monastrell from this area grows into small berries, very aromatic and very concentrated in flavor.
Harvest was done by hand and grapes were than sorted in the winery. Maceration lasted 25 days with controlled temperature. Wines were macerated in contact with the skins before being deposited into barrels. Wine aged 12 months in French and American oak.
There is another family secret that makes this wine irresistible: some old vine Monastrell, that doesn’t make the cut into strictly highest quality standards of El Nido and Clio ends up in Juan Gil blend.
Deep ruby red color and beautiful aroma of dark berries and plums on the nose. This wine needs to breath a little – it will reward you with stronger flavors and aromas, so give it at least 15 minutes. Full body, greatly balanced fruity wine has velvety, almost none existent tannins. Well balanced, clean and structured,with levels of rich fruit flavors, it feels like the fruit was whipped to cover every part of your mouth. Very long finish, incredible value!
Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 18.00
Ideal food pairing:
Paella, stewed meats with mushrooms, pork roasts, grilled meats, BBQ