DENOMINACIÓN DE ORIGEN BULLAS
It’s a pleasure, this week, to return to the recently discovered happy wine hunting ground of DO Bullas. Regular readers may remember the two articles I’ve written in recent months about wines and bodegas from this small and relatively little known area of production. My research so far tells me it’s a safe bet to buy wines from DO Bullas – and you can surely start with those of Bodega Monastrell.
Now there may be some understandable confusion here and I hope that it is not to the detriment of the bodega in question, whose wines should not remain relatively undiscovered. Bodega Monastrell seemed to have usurped the name Monastrell, which as you’ll know from reading Cork Talk is the name of the grape variety, favoured in the South East of Spain, and which in France is known as Mourvedre.
Nobody’s complaining though, and as their three wine portfolio is based on Monastrell, two of them exclusively, well why not name their winery after such a noble variety!
I like the minimalist labels, front and back. Also their succinct pamphlet gives only sufficient information, without elaborating with flowery tasting notes and self- praising poetic prose. No, Bodega Monastrell is content to let their wines do the talking.
Established just in 2005 in the Valle del Aceniche area of Bullas where their vineyards are located at between 800 – 900 metres above sea level, the bodega’s stated aim is to provide consumers with easy-drinking pleasurable wines. They succeed, but I feel they are perhaps being a little too modest here!
Yes, the two wines I tasted, their Almudi Monastrell/Tempranillo/Petit Verdot blend 2010 and their monovarietal Chaveo Crianza 2010, both of which have enjoyed some oak ageing, do provide simple enjoyable drinking, but offer more too!
There is rigorous selection which starts in the vineyard with damaged grapes being discarded straight away. They are further scrutinised in the bodega and only the best bunches pass muster. Like so many of the successful bodegas in Spain there is not only the blend of varieties but a harmonious mixture of wine-making technique too. Tradition meets modernity and the result is something to savour.
Organic and environmentally friendly methods are used, though the wines are not, as yet, certified organic. Yields are kept low to add depth to the finished product.
Almudi 2010 uses Hungarian and French (Allier) oak for its ageing. It’s drinking perfectly right now with very good fruit, as a consequence of the dark plum Monastrell and the blackberry fruit that can come about from Tempranillo grown at altitude and oak aged. The Petit Verdot gives the wine extra dark, seductive colour with some vegetal notes too.
The mouthfeel is lovely, you know you are in for a good sensation when the wine first hits the palate – and the depth of flavour stays with you until way after you’ve swallowed.
Chaveo Crianza 2010 has had 11 months in new French oak, this subtle contribution is noted in the whole, rather than it being an easily identifiable, almost separate part of the wine, as the added flavour and depth are fully integrated. The vines used for this wine are the oldest in the vineyard. The naturally low yields mean that each grape has an enviable richness and the result is a very enjoyable, fruit driven wine.
There’s a slight pleasant mineral identity too, with some vanilla and tobacco notes and a rich fullness that nevertheless doesn’t hide its elegance.
I’ll be looking out for the wines of Bodega Monastrell and I hope to also find the one that I haven’t yet tried, their Valché!