Monastrell is King in Jumilla. Eighty percent of the vines planted are from this hardy, thick skinned variety.
The family-owned Bodegas Juan Gil, run by brothers Miguel and Angel Gil, owns 750 hectares of vineyard in the highest part of the region, with vineyards at 600-750m altitude. Although they also grow varieties such as Petit Verdot, Syrah and Muscat, their focus has been the resurrection of quality Monastrell.
They have access to old vine (30-70 year old) fruit, and these low yielding, unirrigated, bush vines are cultivated in poor stony soils, from which they produce richly flavoured and concentrated wines with fruit sweetness and soft, ripe tannins. However, this style has been refreshed in recent years, and whilst retaining a juicy fruit profile, the wines now have a more elegance and freshness.
This move to a fresher style is partly in the winery, with lighter touch of oak and less extraction, but also from changes in the vineyard.
They have made strides towards Sustainability (they now hold ‘Spanish Wineries for Emission Reduction’, which only a handful of Spanish wineries have so far attained) and have also moved to Organic* cultivation. The wines are vegan-friendly too.
*Juan Gil Blue label will be certified Organic from the 2022 vintage.
Increasing the soil health of their vineyards has had the benefit of reducing erosion, preserving vines, giving them better access to nutrients and water from the soil, and it also cools the soil. This leads to a longer, slower ripening process which in turn reduces any jammy fruit character and creates a fresher style.
This is a perfect example where sustainable practices improve the health of the vineyards, reduce the human impact on the planet and help to create a better wine.
These wines are now all in UK stock (where they join Pedrera Monastrell and Albacea Monastrell, also from Juan Gil):
Juan Gil Dry Muscat [Organic]
A refined and lightly aromatic white – a small portion is aged in old oak, and concrete egg, which adds an appealing texture to this typically light-bodied variety.
Juan Gil Dry Rosé [Organic]
This 50/50 blend of Syrah and Petit Verdot is a compelling Rosé with complexity from fermentation in concrete eggs, and partial aging in old oak.
Juan Gil Yellow Label Monastrell [Organic]
A juicy, full and ripe style of Monastrell with bramble fruit, vanilla spice and mid-weight tannins. Approachable and with fresh acidity.
Juan Gil Silver Label Monastrell [Organic]
From a careful selection of fruit, and aged in French oak, this is a weightier style, smooth and supple with black cherry and chocolate characters.
Juan Gil Blue Label Monastrell
Predominantly very old vine Monastrell with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, aging for 18 months in American and French oak gives it ripe cherry, rich cocoa and sweet spice on the palate. Substantial but smooth tannins drive a long finish.
You’ll also have the opportunity to try them at our Autumn tastings! We’ll see you there…