Brothers Paco and Juan González had a dream. A dream of building their grandfather’s family winery into a great estate, producing world class wine from their hometown variety of Monastrell.
On the surface, it’s a pretty crazy dream: great wine from an unknown grape (Monastrell), in an unknown region (Jumilla, Spain), from a tiny family winery.
Yet the brothers González aren’t dumb. Mourvedre (the French spelling of Monastrell) is absolutely prized in Chateauneuf du Pape and Bandol. If Monastrell is considered great in those places, why not in Jumilla? The raw material is here: 100 year old Monastrell vines planted in a gallet stone soil, producing the kind of fruit the brothers had seen grown Frenchmen brawl over just for a chance to purchase. They took the leap, upgraded the winery, and made wine.
And what a wine it is – their father, and grandfather, would be very proud.
Gorgeous aromas of black cherries, bramble fruits combine with the powerful scents of kirsch, integrated vanilla oak, and a richness of sous bois. To me it is a stunning mixture of power, richness but also drinkability – that dynamic combination that makes big red wine great. And frankly, I am not the only one who thinks so. As Robert Parker has noted (from a previous vintage, when he personally was reviewing Spain) “I tasted it next to some top-notch Bordeaux selling for five times the price, and it was by no means outclassed … it is amazing that a wine of this quality can be found at this price.” The brothers González named this wine to honor the fathers who came before them, and that shows in the bottle.
Previous vintages come into the store and shoot out like a rocket – those who know it, love it. Get this vintage, before the ratings come out (Parker gave the last vintage 92 points) and it doubles in price and is gone.
2011 Bodegas Juan Gil “Juan Gil”
(the silver label)
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