2016 Mira Salinas Bodegas Sierra Salinas
Blend: 100% Monastrell
From: Alicante, Valencia, Spain
In 2013, the Miñano and Gómez families, owners of MGWine Group, purchased Bodega Sierra Salinas, a winery founded in 2000 by the Castaño family of Yecla. Since 2013, the philosophy of the Miñano and Gómez families has been to restore focus on the vineyards, by converting all of them to organic and dry farming. The temptation in such an arid climate as Alicante is to irrigate, but dry farming in this zone forces the root structures to grow deep and produces bunches with a tremendous natural balance of phenolic ripeness and healthy pH. They have also minimized the impact of new oak barrique in their wines, and at this price point, are creating a completely unique style of Monastrell from Alicante. Jorge Ordóñez Selections began to represent Bodega Sierra Salinas in the United States in July of 2018.
Sierra Salinas' vineyards are currently in the process of being converted to certified organic viticulture, with the goal of respecting the environment and taking advantage of the potential of dry farmed viticulture. Estate grown parcels of Monastrell are between 20 and 50 years old.
There are rocky, chalky soils that are very shallow - between one foot and three and a half feet deep. Very loose soils with good drainage situated right over a limestone mother rock. They focus on traditional winemaking, the grapes are sorted rigorously and are destemmed at the bodega. The grapes are macerated in stainless steel tanks and undergo malolactic fermentation in French oak barriques. Pump overs are light and infrequent to avoid over extraction of the Monastrell. It is aged 12 months in new, second, third, and fourth use French oak barriques.
Monastrell — Spain’s third most important black grape variety, known in France as mourvèdre, grown on 48,116 ha/118,847 acres, mainly in Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha.
The origins of the variety are almost certainly Spanish. Murviedro is a town near Valencia (Mataro, another name for the variety, is another near Barcelona). It is certainly easier to grow in Spain than in the cooler reaches of southern France for it buds and ripens extremely late, later even than carignan. Provided the climate is warm, the upright, vigorous Monastrell adapts well to a wide range of soils and recovers well from spring frost. (It is sensitive to low winter temperatures, however.)
The wine produced from Monastrell’s small, sweet, thick-skinned berries tends to be heady stuff, high in alcohol, tannins, with a somewhat gamey, almost animal, flavour when young, and well capable of ageing provided both oxidation and reduction, to which it is particularly prone, is carefully avoided in the winery. It is the principal black grape variety in such dos as alicante, almansa, jumilla, valencia, and yecla.
Taste: Its deep ruby/plum color is followed by a Bandol-like bouquet of smoked black fruits, earth, meat, and spice. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, has beautiful fruit, good acidity, and plenty of tannins.
Pairing: The perfect grape for pairings with slow braised, grilled and stewed meats. Monastrell (Mourvedre) is also perfect when served with lamb, grilled meats, game of all types, veal, duck and pork and beef.
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