Tour de Spain: Jumilla
The next stop on our Tour de Spain is Jumilla (pronounced Hoo-me-ah), which is just inland from the Mediterranean Sea on Spain's southeast coast. It's hot, dry and sunny here, so it's not exactly a suitable climate for some of Spain's most well known grapes. Monastrell is the star of this region because not only can it handle the heat, but it requires it to fully ripen. Drought can be an issue in Jumilla, but thankfully Monastrell is hearty enough to withstand the occasional dry spell and the limestone soil found in the region retains water well to keep those vines moist during the thirstiest of days. The grape makes big, bold, fruit-driven wines with lots of tannin and alcohol and medium or sometimes even low levels of acidity.
I have to say that in the past I haven't been terribly impressed with wines from this region because I felt that many were edging toward simple, often with unbalanced excessive amounts of tannin, but I found one that really changed my mind about the region: Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil Jumilla 2013. The producer uses Monastrell vines that are over 40 years old, so the flavors will be even more intense and complex.
The wine has a big nose bursting with notes of black cherry, dried strawberry, blackberry, plum, tobacco, and toast and I got the same on the palate. Its structure is really nice with a full body, ripe chewy tannins, a medium acidity, and a whopping 15% abv complements the bold flavors. There are so many layers of flavor in this wine and the finish is also quite long - I was still able to clearly taste it well after my sip and spit, which made this preggo very happy! Does it sound like this wine is going to be in the $18 - $24 range? I thought so too, and I had to do a double take when I looked at my receipt while writing this post. It's only $11. Aaaand confetti emoji. Consider my opinion of Jumilla dramatically changed! This very well could be the best value wine that I've featured on the blog so far.
This will probably be my last post before baby #2 arrives (I'm due in less than 2 weeks), unless I go past my due date and delve into another Spanish wine region to keep my mind off of the wait ;) But hopefully the next post will feature some baby toes. Until then, cheers!
Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil Jumilla: $11. Bangin' value and so good! Big thumbs up.