ABOUT: At the foot of the mountains of Tobarra in southwest Spain is where the Jumilla D.O.P. begins. The altitude is high, the region gets crazy hot but the nights stay cool due to the relative closeness of the Mediterranean. This is where Santos Ortiz, Ioana Paunescu and winemaker Luis Javier Perez started their wine project in 2011, Ego Bodegas. They have 35 hectares of old vine Monastrell (Mourvedre elsewhere) which is the dominate red grape variety of the region, and the wines are both delicious and inexpensive, a fantastic value. We’re fans of descriptors delicious and inexpensive and hope that they keep building on the good stuff they’ve started.
TASTE: The Monastrell grapes that go into this wine come from certified organic vineyards in Jumilla with an average age of 25 years. The wine spends no more than 2 months in American oak barrels before it is bottled and shipped to every drinker possible. Aromas and flavors of cherries, raspberries, strawberries, fig, orange peel and dark chocolate are front and center, you can almost taste the heat coming off the baked limestone. Nothing jammy about this wine though, more savory, Monastrell’s skin is so thick that is provides high amounts of tannin and acid which balances things out and provides room for development. It really is the ideal grape for this sweltering region of the world. Wines from Spain generally provide good value but this is above and beyond. Get some before the world starts paying overdue attention to Jumilla and the price rockets.
PAIR: Kalamata olive and chickpea paella, mushrooms in garlic sauce, Shakshuka with manchego, and grilled vegetables with romesco sauce.