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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightSpain

Spanish Beauties

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  • Publish Date: Jan 19, 2010

Located in the Southeast corner of Spain, the grape growing region of Jumilla (hoo-ME-uh) lies in desert-like conditions. Lesser known than Rioja, the region is drawing more and more attention for its high-quality wines and the excellent value they deliver.

Jumilla is every bit the “comeback kid” when it comes to growing regions in Spain. Long after most of Europe’s vineyards were ravaged by phylloxera, Jumilla was hit hard by the pest in 1989. Most farmers were forced to tear up their vines and when replanting, turned to the native variety Monastrell (Mourvèdre), the grape that is now planted in up to 80% of Jumilla’s vineyards.

With the Mediterranean to the east, and La Mancha Plateau to the west, Jumilla is an extraordinarily arid place that endures cold winters and intensely hot summers. As a result of these growing conditions (or terruño in Spanish) and the nature of the Monastrell grape, look for wines from Jumilla to be big and full of fruit. But despite the ripe fruit characteristics, many wines from Jumilla nonetheless show classically European balance and depth.

Want to start sipping wines from Jumilla? Start with Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil ($15.99).

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