Sunday, October 25, 2009

***+ $$ 2004 Juan Gil Jumilla, 2004, Spain - Wine Review and Rating

Original Review, August, 2007:
This is a 100% mouvedre wine from Spain, called "monastrell" in that region. The low-yield grapes come from 40-year-old vines in the northeast of Jumilla, a location approximately 700 meters high; they are then aged for four months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. We'll be enjoying it tonight with eggplant parmigiana.

In the glass, the mouvedre is a deep mahogany, black-cherry red, with just a hint of purple at the edge. On swirling, the aroma is not shy, and brings smoky candied cherries and plums out of the glass. The flavor is first of sweet raisins, with figs and plums coming through on the big tangy mid-palate. The finish is carried by husky acids and a touch of tannin.

Very pleasant, full, round, somewhat distinctive red wine; I'm not certain if there would be a lot left after hours in the decanter or years in the basement. But I would come back to try it again, so that's three stars out of five. At a very modest price, this wine hits a fine quality/price point.

Robert Parker gave this 90 points and said, "A serious effort, ...this rich, full-bodied, inky/purple-tinged cuvee exhibits aromas of scorched earth, blueberries, licorice, and pepper, a savory, layered texture, and remarkable opulence for a Mourvedre. Drink it over the next 3-4 years."

Updated Review, October, 2009, two years later: Wow, color hasn't moved at all in two years, still opaque with the purple hint at edge. And even the aroma has held fast: still cherries with an oak overlay. It took a bit more swirling to coax it from the glass this time, but still solidly there. Now it has added a deeper, slightly earthy note too. Yum.

The sweet, acid-tangy mid-palate is still the first big thing you notice on tasting, and, yes, I'd still go with plums and figs as the highlights. Tannins still enfold your mouth after the first sip, drawing the flavors all across your tongue and up into your cheeks, coating the sip and leaving it to a long, slow finish. So much power, potency and grip still left here, that I am adding a plus to the three stars for future promise. Future promise on a value-priced wine already five years old is an impressive note indeed!

The improved score makes this a good buy, based on its Spirit of Wine rating being a point and a half higher than its price rating. In this case, I'd suggest considering a bit of a store in your cellar before opening. The age seems to be imparting small, but helpful notes.

Find Juan Gil Jumilla at WineZap.

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