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The weather is much like that of Cataluña here although it is both hotter and wetter. Foreign investment and large scale exports have occurred for many years in the Levante. The attitude here was also one of ready acceptance of all manner of viticultural and scientific experimentation. The Spanish wine from Levante in general terms has little to offer in terms of quality with a few exceptions. It is generally good but inexpensive wine.

 

Almansa wine and region

Levante Spanish wine-mapThe wine-growing area of Almansa is situated in the eastern part of Castilla-La Mancha, in the province of Albacete. We leave the dull and endless Meseta behind here as we enter the high plateau of the Levante. Everything here seems different than in the rest of Castilla-La Mancha. The landscape is gently undulating, the vineyards are low lying on more or less level ground, the grapes are different, and the wines too. The only thing in common between Almansa and La Mancha is the climate, which is continental, arid, with a great range in temperature between hot summers and cold winters. It rains rarely here but when it does, especially in the autumn and spring, it rains very heavily and often with destructive hail stones. The soil of this red Spanish wine territory is chiefly underlying chalk with a fertile top soil. Around the two towns of Almansa in the east and Chinchilla de Monte-Aragôn in the west, the red Monastrell, Garnacha, and Cencibel (Tempranillo) grapes are harvested, together with a small quantity of white Merseguera. The strength of the area though lies in its red wines made from the Monastrell grape, which can produce excellent results here as they also do in Alicante, Jumilla, and Yecla Not every bodega is as well equipped but the results with this grape are very promising.

The Almansa Blanco is a light, fresh, modem-style wine intended for early consumption. You can drink it as an aperitif, thirst quencher, or with any type of sea-food. Drink temperature for this Spanish wine is 8-10°C (46.4-50°F).

Almansa Rosado is a fresh, fruity, and pleasant rosé without much pretension. Drink it with fish, other sea-food, or with cold paella. Drinking temperature for this Spanish wine is 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C).

Almansa Tinto is available as vinos jovenes or Crianza. Drink this Spanish wine, which are often ponderous and very alcoholic, with light meat dishes at 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).

The better Almansa Tinto Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva of Bodegas Piqueras are well worth seeking out at their very reasonable prices. Drink these well-balanced and pleasing wines of Tempranillo and Monastrell with the tastiest roasted pork dishes. You can drink this Spanish wine at 57.2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).

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