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Enrique Mendoza Estrecho Monastrell 2012

Mourvedre from Spain
  • RP93
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Bright ruby-red in color, Estrecho shows attractive aromas of red cherry, plum and wet slate. On the palate, the wine has refreshing acidity and bright fruit flavors.

A great match for spicy cured meats, seafood stews, or fritto misto.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 vintage was extremely dry and the head-pruned, dry-farmed vineyards really suffered, they had no more than 250 liters of rain in the whole growing season. In such dry conditions the Estrecho de la Pipa vineyards at 700 meters altitude behaved better than the Las Quebradas, because of the cooler sandy soils in the former. That allowed them to produce a 2012 Estrecho, selecting the bunches, as any overripe fruit is destined for the production of (a yet to be released) Fondillón. Pepe Mendoza thinks 2012 is riper and warmer, but I feel better freshness here than in 2011; perhaps it’s that they have been simplifying things throughout the years, and they are slowly getting to the essence of the grapes and the places. The wine has a lot less impact from the oak and a lighter structure, fruit of a softer vinification. For comparison's sake I also tasted 2009, a balanced vintage, less ripe than 2012, that is aging nicely in bottle, developing nuances and complexity and more notes from the landscape, rockrose, pine needle, a little minty, aromatic and balsamic with a long life ahead. The next vintage will be 2014 (which I also finally tasted for this article), because in 2013 they had a bad hailstorm and they lost all the grapes from Estrecho; in fact they lost 200,000 kilos of grapes during that vintage!
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Enrique Mendoza

Enrique Mendoza

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Enrique Mendoza, Spain
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Although Enrique Mendoza founded the winery in 1989, his son Pepe now runs the business, aided by his younger brother Julián. Pepe is responsible for vineyard management and winemaking, while Julián looks after the commercial side of the company. So well respected is Enrique Mendoza that it was inducted into the prestigious Grandes Pagos de España. This group’s mission is to defend and propagate the culture of “pago” wine, meaning wine produced in a specific terroir that reflects the distinct personality of the soil and climate. To become a member, a vineyard must surpass strict quality standards and also exhibit a degree of uniqueness in terms of soil, climate or grape variety that sets it apart from the surrounding area. The association’s membership includes 25 estate wineries throughout Spain. Bodegas Enrique Mendoza is located near the town of Alfàs Del Pi, about 45 miles from the city of Alicante, and is surrounded by breathtakingly landscaped gardens. Most of the vineyards are located near Villena at an average of 1200 feet elevation, with some parcels as high as 2100 feet. Traditional plantings include Monastrell and Moscatel, although recently Pepe has experimented with international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The resulting wines are typically fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak, with long maceration (up to 28 days). Natural farming is prioritized at Enrique Mendoza. Indigenous yeasts are used, and insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers are avoided in favor of biodynamic practices. Pepe also emphasizes placing his vines under the optimal level of hydric stress to produce small, concentrated grapes; he uses computerized sensors to monitors moisture levels in the vineyard, adjusting irrigation accordingly.

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Spanish

Red Wine

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Known for its bold, heady, rustic and age-worthy red wines, Spain is truly a one-of-a-kind wine-producing nation. A great majority of the country is hot, arid and drought-ridden, and since irrigation has only been recently introduced and (controversially) accepted, viticulture has sustained—and flourished—only through a great understanding of Spain’s particular conditions. Large spacing between vines allows each enough resources to survive and as a result, the country has the most acreage under vine compared to any other country, but is usually third in production.

Most planted and respected is Tempranillo, the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Priorat specializes in bold red blends, Jumilla has gained global recognition for its single varietal Monastrell and Utiel-Requena has garnered recent attention for its reds made of Bobal.

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WBO30179222_2012 Item# 165308