Monastrell is a Spanish grape variety, also named Mouvèdre (FR) or Mataro (US), planted mainly in the Murcia Region and Northern Alicante. A difficult grape variety to grow, requesting a very specific climate: warm, very dry , extremly sunny , and low yields. Without those conditions it will not express all it's complexity.
Monastrell seems to have found its natural habitat in Yecla.
A delicate grape to vinify where tannins can turn from delicious sweetness to bitterness in a couple of pump-overs. And finally a grape that has a love and hate relationship with the air, making ageing in barrels a challenging process.
CONCLUSION: Not the winemaker’s best friend, but a rare delicatessen for a wine gourmet.
WINEMAKING: UNDER THE HOOD
Harvest is strictly by hand, where the yield of the Monastrell is around 8hl/ha !!
As soon as the grapes are in the vat, it is bled at 40 to 50%, to give an extra concentration!! A cold maceration take place for 48 hours. It is followed by 14 days controlled temperature fermentation with native yeast. The wine will then make it's malolactic in brand new french oak barrels, 500 liters for Monastrell and 225 liters for Syrah and Garnacha.
After 21 to 22 months of ageing in barrels the wine will be lightly filtered and bottled.
YECLA D.O. :VITICULTURE AT THE LIMIT
D.O. Yecla is one of the 3 D.O. of the region of Murcia, the other two are Jumilla and Bullas. It is located in the south east of Spain at just 45 km from the Mediterranean sea.
The native grape variety is Monastrell which is today the most planted grape variety in the D.O. More recently other grape varieties have been introduced, like Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Petit Verdot.
Even if Yecla is close to Mediterranean coast it is far to be a strict Mediterranean climate mainly due to the altitude. Vineyards are indeed planted between 500 and 850m of Altitude.
This altitude result in a climate mainly continental mixed with Mediterranean influences. Winters are cold, summers are hot and dry, and Mediterranean rainfalls appear on beginning of September helping the Monastrell to achieve its full ripeness. This make a perfect spot for growing Monastrell.
Alc : 15,1 % vol.
T.A : 5,6 gr/l
pH : 3,6
V.A : 0,65 gr/l
R.S : 3 gr/l
91 Points: GUIA PEÑIN 2012
La maquina Monastrell 2008 - D.O. Yecla - obtains 91 points in the most prestigious spanish wine guide: Guia Peñin .