Olivares Altos de la Hoya 2020
Deep ruby. Ripe, powerful aromas of red and dark fruits, minerals and spices. Finishes fresh and long, with a repeating dark fruit note.
Fruit is sourced from an 60 hectare vineyard of ungrafted vines many of which were planted in 1872. The vineyard is referred to as Finca Hoya de Santa Ana and this bottling comes from the best parcel and the highest point so they call it Altos de la Hoya... meaning the "highest from La Hoya".
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I was less taken by the oak in the 2020 Altos de la Hoya, produced in a more commercial and mainstream way from ungrafted old Monastrell vines. But there's good fruit and depth here, a medium to full-bodied palate and fine-grained tannins, and the wine has the stuffing and balance to overcome the creamy oak with some more time in bottle. It matured in a mixture of oak vats and barrels for some six to eight months. 200,000 bottles produced. Best after 2023. Rating: 90+
A fruit-expressive nose with blueberries, violets and hints of pepper and prunes. Quite fresh and elegant on the palate, showing an array of sweet berries, rounded by firm and ripe tannins. Fine-grained and spicy. Drink now
For Jumilla, the key to its vineyards' survival was their sandy soil—which is anathema to the Phylloxera insect. As a glorious consequence, Jumilla not only has some of the oldest vines in the world, but also the largest number of ungrafted vines. Most of these vines are Mourvèdre, or Monastrell as it is locally known, one of the most prized varieties of Mediterranean Europe. And Jumilla's summers boast hot days and cool nights, perfect for ripening grapes, while maintaining acidity.
Today, Jumilla is awakening to its vast potential, and a winemaking revolution has followed — led by growers like Olivares' Paco Selva. He owns 65+ hectares of ungrafted old vineyards in the northern part of the appellation, called La Hoya de Santa Ana. It is the coolest sub-zone of Jumilla, with sandy, lime-rich soils that yield intensely aromatic wines, while protecting the ungrafted vines from Phylloxera.
Famous for the robust and earthy, black-fruit dominated, Monastrell (known as Mourvedre in France), Jumilla is an arid and hot region in southeastern Spain. Its vine yields tend to be torturously low but this can create wines of exceptional intensity and flavor. Quality combined with accessible price points give the region great recognition on international markets far and wide.
The reds from Jumilla are heady and spicy, packed with fruit and show aromas of dried licorice and herbs. If you like Syrah, Grenache or Pinot noir, a red wine from Jumilla would be a perfect next choice!
Full of ripe fruit, and robust, earthy goodness, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, where it still goes by the name Monastrell or Mataro. It is better associated however, with the Red Blends of the Rhône, namely Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Mourvèdre shines on its own in Bandol and is popular both as a single varietal wine in blends in the New World regions of Australia, California and Washington. Somm Secret—While Mourvèdre has been in California for many years, it didn’t gain momentum until the 1980s when a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley finally began to renew a focus on it.