Amply-satisfying red that boasts a lovely, caressing texture, layers of flavour and a voluptuous mouthfeel. Very soft and generous, with distinct notes of overripe blackberry, chocolate, violet and scrubland thyme. Levante sunshine in a glass!
Drink with duck in plum sauce, barbecued food or Spanish meatballs and chorizo.
JUMILLA is a DO in Murcia, SE Spain. The local conditions are hot, dry and harsh - summer temperatures of 40°C are common. Some vines can thrive here though as there is a lot of lime in the soil, which helps retain what little moisture there is; and also because of the high, inland plateau (400-800m), which offers some respite from the furnace-like heat. Eighty per cent of the region's vines are the sun-loving Monastrell (Mourvedre) variety.
Monastrell is originally from Spain but is now grown widely in France, where it is known as Mourvedre, and in Australia and California, where it is called Mataro (though not as much as formerly - Mourvedre sounds better). Its high tannins led the French to christen it, 'Etrangle-Chien' - the dog-strangler. As a variety it is drought-tolerant, late ripening and fickle. Unblended examples are rare outside of SE Spain.