Olivares Altos de la Hoya Monastrell Jumilla 2009
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Wine Advocate 90 Points
The 2009 Altos de la Hoya Ungrafted Old-Vines Monastrell contains 8% Garnacha in its blend. It delivers high-toned black and blue fruit flavors and aromas framed by a ripe wine with lively acidity, a smooth texture, and a pure, silky finish. Drink this outstanding value over the next 3-4 years.
-Jay Miller, June 2011
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 90 Points
"Bright violet. Spicy, floral-accented aromas of black raspberry, sassafras, dried flowers and allspice, enhanced by a subtle mineral overtone. Lively and precise, with sweet red and dark berry flavors and a nervy mineral spine. Shows very good energy on the finish, leaving tangy red fruit and spice notes. This is quite unlike most wines from Jumilla, which can show more richness than balance. Some of these vines date back to 1872."
Some wine-producing countries are known for churning out values. In the mid-1990s, both Chile and Spain established themselves as countries capable of making inexpensive, but expressive and distinctive wines. As the market evolved, the desire to understand these places through their unique terroirs lent itself to the firm conviction that appellation matters even if one’s spending less than $15 for a bottle. And so the world clamored for the latest and greatest as the virtues of Casablanca Valley and Bierzo were extolled by the press. What many failed to mention or even recognize was that many such regions (particularly in Spain) had been already producing quality wine for over a century. Case in point: the Southwestern appellation of Jumilla which has been producing wine since before the mid-19th Century. Interestingly, Jumilla is one of Spain’s oldest DO’s having become an official appellation in 1966. No producer embodies this region and its signature grape Monastrell more than Olivares. In fact, to taste Olivares’ single vineyard Monastrell, Altos de la Hoya, is to savor the particular combination of terroir, history and value-driven wine-making that propelled Spain to the forefront over the last 15 years.
Olivares’ proprietor Paco Selva’s vineyards lie at over 800 meters above sea level; this elevation produces cool evenings which helps to temper the region’s hot days resulting in wines that possess both freshness and vibrancy. The uniqueness of Selva’s estate is best described by Olivares’ importer The Rare Wine Co.:
“Paco’s 65 hectare here boasts incredibly sandy soil and ungrafted vines, of which this may be the world’s largest individual holding. The former provides the wine with a rich perfume; the latter depth and complexity. These same sandy soils that give Bodegas Olivares’ wines their perfumed aromatics were also anathema to the Phylloxera root louse that devastated all but a handful of Europe’s vineyards in the late 1880’s. And so Paco’s holdings form an important part of an elite group of vineyards that survived on their original rootstocks, including Quinta do Noval’s Nacional vineyard and Bollinger’s Vignes Françaises.”