To get a mental picture of Jumilla wine, think of a bullfighter. Both the wine and the fighter are built to be powerful, and to grapple with serious meat like roast beef. Like their exuberant jackets, the wine has deep red colours too. Unfortunately, I don’t know whether bullfighters also taste of cherries, leather and liquorice. So if you happen to visit the region a little inland from Alicante, perhaps you can let us know, but in the meantime, here’s an overview of great examples of Jumilla Wine.
The Most Important Grape in Jumilla Wine is Monastrell
You’ve probably already had the pleasure of meeting Monastrell. In France, the same grape goes under the name Mourvèdre, and they create wines with high alcohol content that are full bodied and highly tannic. All that alcohol supports deep flavours of spice and red fruit. Occasionally, you may find another example with hints of hung meat as well, which is another reason to pair it with roasts. An even better reason is the tannin. This bitter compound helps to break down meat proteins, which makes them taste more delicious, and so for your next Sunday roast, you need a bottle of Jumilla Monastrell on the table.
A Typical Monastrell:
Try MMM Macho Man Monastrell. Like a bullfighter, the bottle comes with a burly bloke on the front, which hints at what’s going on inside the bottle. It’s a crianza wine, which means it’s spent in oak developing flavours yeasty, woody flavours, but it should have the red fruit characteristic of the grape. Pair it with meaty stews with lots of tomato.
An Everyday Drinking Wine:
Honoro Vera Monastrell is a pure bargain. Because it hasn’t spent any time in the barrel, the producer doesn’t have to pass on any costs in the price of the wine, but on the flip side, it has not developed a great deal of flavour complexity. There also won’t be any oaky notes. Expect a simpler, less complex wine that will go with lighter meat dishes such as pasta with slices of chorizo. But remember, wine spectator gave this bottle 86 points. Buying this bottle might save you a few euros, but you’re not scrimping on tastiness.
A High Quality Red:
Jumilla is only a ‘DO’ region. In Spain’s quality rankings, that means it’s second best, but you will find some producers in the area creating absolutely wonderful Jumilla wine. Las Gravas is one such example. It’s actually a mix of Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, which won 94 points from Robert Parker as well as 94 from Guia Peñin – two of the greatest wine authorities on the face of the planet. This is the good stuff.
The wine is very balanced – tannin, alcohol, flavour and dryness being perfectly in sync. Like all good quality wines, it has a very long finish, meaning you’ll taste red fruit flavours some time after you’ve gulped it down. It has a vivid cherry colour too. Enjoy it with a good steak, or even strongly flavoured venison.
If You Like That, You’ll Like This:
There are a few grapes that make similar red wine. We’ve summarised them in our article Shiraz Cabernet and Other Power Red Wine Blends, which gives you more options to find one with more of what you like in a wine.