This past weekend, the #WorldWineTravel group of bloggers virtually visited Murcia and Valencia. Most wrote about wines made with Monastrell. I wrote about Rosados but the one I picked was made with Garnacha which surprised me.
For this Wine Wednesday, I am writing about a great wine I had which was made with Monastrell from the Alicante DO. It was called Mo and was from Sierra Salinas, part of the Jorge Ordonez portfolio and available through Regal Wines in my neck of the woods, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
I found the wine very elegant and enjoyable with my Tortilla Espanola which I have been perfecting.
The wine was made with 100% Monastrell. The winery uses ambient yeast and malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barriques. The DO is Alicante which I visited in 2000. The soils are dry, rocky, chalky, and very shallow. They are loose though which allows for good drainage.
These brush trained vines are farmed organically and the winemaker is Jose Ramon Gago. Bodegas Sierra Salinas was created in 2000 from a winemaking family from neighboring Yecla. These hill altitude vineyards caught their eye at the time. The winery was sold in 2013 to the MGWines Group of the Miñano Gomez family.
The winery uses gravity flow and the new owners are trying to limit oak extraction and create elegant wines.
I think they have well succeeded in the effort. While this wine was 14.5% ABV, I didn’t feel all that alcohol. I found black and red fruit with some forest floor notes and loads of minerality. The acidity was high which I imagine is thanks to the elevation as well as winemaking choices.
Sierra Salinas vineyards are at 650M- 680M above sea level. This leads strong diurnal temperature changes and the location also means they have good winds. In the process of getting organic certification, the vines were planted between 1968 and 1998.
Unfortunately none of my pictures from my 2000 visit are digital. I remember how arid the area was but also how beautiful and historic. Alicante was founded 7000 years ago. The Carthaginians and the Romans once ruled. I remember visiting an amazing fortress. I am now going to look for those photos and add them at a later date.
Memories of Monastrell in the past were of a heavy wine but not this one. Elegant and lush, I was very impressed with it and would love to buy more for the fall season.