It’s not all Holiday – Discovering Jumilla 

While Matthew and I were taking in some winter sun we visited, fourth generation family Bodega Juan Gil in Jumilla.

The drive was an experience as we left the sunny climate of Calpe and made our way up the mountains, reaching cloud and then popping out above the cloud to blue sky, sun and a crisp chill in the air at 750m above sea level.

I can never get bored of visiting a vineyard and winery, each has there own uniqueness that makes them special, they all have a story to tell. The land here is not for the faint hearted. It is barren and harsh with stoney soil and 100 year old knarly monastrell vines low to the ground which are spaced far enough apart to fight and push their roots to find water as these vineyards are not irrigated. 3000 hours of sunshine, to only 300ltrs of water a year! 

Adrain greeted us and showed us the winery, barrel room before tasting the wines. Adrian talked through the journey of the grapes from hand harvesting, state of the art optical sorting machine allowing a more rigorous grape selection for quality, all the way through to the gentle barrel ageing of the wine. All the wines from the Gil Family winery are all produced with natural yeasts which I always think is exciting from a wine geek perspective! 

The heart of the family is very much in the Jumilla wine region, while growing their portfolio to other Spanish wine producing regions. Along with a range of Jumilla we had the opportunity to taste Atteca made from old vine garnacha grown on clay soils from Calatayud in Northern Spain. Dark concentrated plump fruit, soft showed elegance coupled with power. In contrast we tasted La Atalaya del Camino produced with monastrell and the red fleshed alicante bouschet, savoury, herbaceous with dark cherry. 

The Jumilla wines were a real treat and showed character, authenticity and really highlighted the quality of a wine region not so well known in the UK.

Juan Gil Moscatel A small amount is aged in old oak, and a portion in concrete eggs which adds texture. Aromas of fresh peach and kiwi with hints of jasmine and white pepper. The palate has ripe and juicy stone fruit and honeydew melon characters, refreshing acidity and a long spicy finish.

Juan Gil Yellow Label Monastrell Old vine monastrell aged for 4 months in oak. The nose has rich plum and bramble characters, with delicate vanilla spice and cedar. The palate has layers of ripe fruit, blackcurrant, blackberry, spicy plum and cherry, and fine tannins balanced by bright acidity.

Juan Gil Silver Label Monastrell Twelve months in French oak gives powerful aromas of baked strawberry, blackberry and a hint of chocolate. Spice and cedar are layered with juicy ripe plum. Full bodied with ripe fruit and supple tannins, but the palate is left with an overall sense of freshness thanks to the crucial bright acidity. A complex wine with great appeal, concentration and length.

Juan Gil Blue Label Monastrell Blend Produced from low-yielding, old vine Monastrell with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. An opulent nose of ripe black fruits, spice and balsamic notes. The palate is complex and concentrated, rich and full with mocha, cherry, plum and chocolate characters, backed by rounded tannins and fresh acidity. 

The prices of the Jumilla wines and the wines themselves will be available in the shop shortly.

Watch this space for a wine tasting ‘Discovering Jumilla.’