Upon returning to San Diego after so much time in Argentina and Italy, I had one “wine goal” in mind: familiarize myself with wines from other countries, such as Spain. First stop? A beautiful, lush Spanish wine called Jumilla.
Jumilla Region/Wines Produced
Jumilla is a hot, rocky region in the southwest of Spain between La Mancha and the Mediterranean (perfect conditions for wine growing!). Wines from this region are predominantly made with the Mouvedre grape, which is referred to as Monastrell (or spelled “Monestrell”). Mouvedre creates dark, full-bodied, powerful wines with lots of black fruit and plum flavors. It is lush, delicious, and supple… and I love it! Those who enjoy powerful Zinfandel and Syrah wines will probably take a quick liking to Mouvedre as well.
In Jumilla, Mouvedre is often blended with Syrah and Merlot, which give pepper (from the Syrah) and softness (from the Merlot) to the blends. Garnacha and Tempranillo are varietals which are also commonly grown by the region’s 44 bodegas (wineries).
The best thing about these wines? Their affordability. Some of my favorites include Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil and Finca Luzon, (typically priced under $15 and $10, respectively). Want to go “all-out”? Splurge on a bottle of Bodegas El Nido Clio, priced at around $40 per bottle, or the winery’s El Nido, priced around $125. (Or, dream about it a lot, which is what I’ve done since I sampled it several years back.)
Jumilla is said to work well with smoked gouda. If pairing with cheeses, stick to more full-flavored and aged cheeses; if pairing with meats, I suggest anything roasted or anything with lots of tasty herbs. Personally, I think the ribs or anything with barbecue sauce would be delicious accompaniments to the fruit in the wine!