Jumilla wine and region
Before La Rioja became recognised as a wine-growing area, Jumilla was already a respected won a place for itself in both the Spanish and export market. This is justified because the quality of Jumilla wine is always reliable, whether it be the old- fashioned rancio wines or the more modern Spanish wines. Jumilla has character, which is often missing in Valencian wine, regardless of whether it is made by modem or old-fashioned methods. Of course they also make doble-pasta here too, even with 100% Monastrell. The future of Jumilla though lies in the better table wines and not in these ‘cutting wines' or in rancio wines. Jumilla’s vineyards are situated around the town of Jumilla and to its west. These are relatively new vines because the vineyards of Jumilla were replanted at the end of the 1980s as a consequence of a late attack of phylloxera. This happened about 100 years later than in the rest of Spain. Turning adversity to good fortune, the Jumilian wine-growers were able to choose the most appropriate grape varieties for replanting and chose Monastrell, Gamacha, and Cencibel (Tempranillo) for the blue grapes and Mersequera, Airen, and Pedro Ximenez for their white grapes. About 80% of the vines are Monastrell. The vineyards in Jumilla are sited fairly high, some even above 2,296 feet(700 metres) which gives some protection from the withering effects of the sun. The ground is underlying chalk with a top layer of crumbly and reddish-brown sandy soil. The climate is truly continental with extremely hot summers and exceptionally cold winters with much frost.
Jumilla blancos are mainly made from Merseguera, but Airen grapes are beginning to be more widely used because their resulting wines are preferred by foreign buyers. The best of these whites Spanish wine are fresh, fruity (green apples), juicy, and very pleasant but there is little more that can be said. These are certainly not the best Spanish wines from this area. Drink these Spanish wines as an alfresco aperitif or with fish at 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C).
Jumilla rosados, in common with their tintos, must contain at least 50% Monastrell. Usually this is more, even 100%. The colour of this Spanish wine varies from salmon pink to raspberry and its nose is intense (raspberry and strawberry), with floral notes. The taste is fresh, juicy, and fruity. Drink these very pleasant rosados for example with paella. Drinking temperature for this Spanish wine is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).
The tintos make up the majority of Jumilla’s production of wines. Many of these red Spanish wines contain 100% Monastrell, but there are also blends of Monastrell and Cencibel (Tempranillo). The vinos jovenes are fresh, fruity (black cherry, date, currant) juicy, and exceptionally pleasant. The Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva wines are clearly cask aged but the wood does not dominate. The striking feature is the balance between alcohol, acidity, body, and taste. The future of Jumilla lies in such wines without any shadow of doubt. Drink this Spanish wine at 57.2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).
Finally, there is also a local speciality made wholly with Monastrell. This is a sweet rancio Spanish wine that may have been cask aged for five to six years, and which is very aromatic. This Spanish wine can be drunk as an aperitif or after dinner in the evening. You can drink this Spanish wine for 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) or if preferred to room temperature (62.6-64.4°F/17-18°C).