"The 2003 Altos de la Hoya Monastrell Ungrafted Old Vines does not reveal any of the vintage's overripe character. Its deep purple color is accompanied by aromas of scorched earth, black fruits (primarily sweet blackberries), and espresso, a terrific attack, medium to full body, fine freshness, good definition, and a long, heady finish. It is a fabulous value that should be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years."
The heat-loving Monastrell is known as Mourvedre in France's Rhone valley. Jumilla records show that Monastrell was used at least as early as the 15th century. Like the Rhone, Jumilla gets extremely hot during the summer days, but because of the 1500 foot elevation, nights are very cool. This allows the grapes to become physiologically ripe, yet maintain their acidity.