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Bodegas Carchelo dead 1999
Bodegas Carchelo was founded in the early 1980s in one of the earliest efforts to bring Jumilla into the age of modern wine. In addition to the indigenous Monastrell (Mourvèdre) variety, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are grown to enhance structure. Achieving a fresh and balanced style, by the early 1990s Carchelo's rich young red had put Jumilla on the road to international respectability.
Located at altitudes between 2,000 and 3,500 feet in the transition between Spain's coastal plain and inland La Mancha, Jumilla's aridity combines to result in fresh nighttime temperatures during the hot growing season. Chalky and clay soils offer ideal footing for the red varieties. At under eight inches of rain per year, grape health is seldom a problem. 700 acres of estate vineyards are planted to Monastrell (Mourvèdre, both ungrafted head-pruned and wire trained vineyards), Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet and Merlot, and are located in a wide variety of subregions, altitudes and exposures, reducing the risk of frequent hail damage in the area.
Estate vineyards are located in five distinct Jumilla subregions with varying exposures and soil profiles, assuring a healthy diversity of fruit and vintage consistency.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.