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Flat front label of wine

Senorio de Barahonda Bellum El Providencia 2003

Mourvedre from Spain
  • RP93
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"The Bellum cuvees are a joint project between the Candela family that owns Barahonda and importer Patrick Mata. The wines are meant to showcase the tremendous upside potential of Yecla's Mourvedre vineyards. The 2003 Bellum Providencia (an 800-case cuvee of 100% old vine Mourvedre) spent ten months in both French and American oak. It brings to mind what a Bandol might taste like if you took away all the rusticity, under-ripeness, and brett. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by sumptuously pure aromas of roasted meats, blueberries, black raspberries, and cherries. Full-bodied, with loads of structure, sweet tannin, impressive density as well as purity, and a 40+ second finish, this is an amazing effort. Moreover, its price makes it one of the wine steals of the century. It should drink well for 4-5 years. This estate is one of the top discoveries of all my tastings."
-Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Senorio de Barahonda

Senorio de Barahonda

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Senorio de Barahonda, Spain
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This family company was established in 1925 and has been growing and evolving ever since, latterly passing to Antonio Candela Poveda and his two sons Antonio and Alfredo. The company began in a small bodega (cellar) which has expanded over time according to capacity and technological requirements and now boasts a second winemaking cellar. Today Bodegas Antonio Candela forms part of the family group which also encompasses Señorio de Barahonda as well as Viña de Aliagar, the company which manages the family estates.

Señorio de Barahonda is situated in the north east of the Región de Murcia in the Altiplano district. It is a transisitional zone between Spain’s central plateau and the Mediterranean, surrounded by a ring of low mountain ranges.

Yecla received its D.O. status in 1975 although 20 years prior to that certain bodega had already begun to concentrate on quality, leaving behind more robust and rustic styles to offer new, more interesting bottled reds, the majority of which fully exploit the great potential of the Monastrell grape.

Today the Yecla D.O. comprises 6500 hectares of vineyard.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place the primary emphasis upon its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally warm to hot. In the center of the country lies a vast, dry plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought. Because of its location on the Iberian Peninsula, many of Spain’s wine regions are located on or near the milder coast, either of the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, or the Mediterranean sea to the south and east. Each of these regions has its own unique soil, climate, and topography, as well as principal grape varieties.

In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate, though elsewhere the most popular wines are generally red. Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from Viura. Ribera del Duero produces opulent, fruity, top-quality wines from almost exclusively Tempranillo. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, blends Garnacha with Cariñena (Carignan) to make bold, full-bodied wines with a hint of earthiness. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez. Since the 1990s, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc have been steadily increasing in importance in several regions.

Mourvedre

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Never lacking in color, tannin, or bold, mouth-filling texture, Mourvèdre is most commonly deployed to provide substance in blends with Grenache and Syrah/Shiraz. Despite being better known by its French name, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, originally known as Monastrell. In Spain, it is one of the most commonly planted red grapes, serving as the principal variety in regions such as Alicante, Jumilla, and Yecla. It truly thrives, however, in Provence’s Bandol region, where it produces singular red and rosé wines along with Grenache and [Cinsault]. It is also of great importance in the Southern Rhône alongside Grenache and Syrah—and in California and Australia, where those blends are frequently mimicked.

In the Glass

Mourvèdre/Monastrell is responsible for robust, heady wines with dark berry fruit and a somewhat gamey quality. At its finest, it takes on brambly red and black fruit flavors and hints of herbs, leather, dark chocolate, and licorice. It can be prohibitively tannic in its youth, but well-aged examples can show an impressive degree of elegance and an attractive perfume. In blends with Grenache and Syrah, Mourvèdre provides fleshy texture, tannic structure, and deep color.

Perfect Pairings

This earthy Mediterranean variety loves rustic food—think cassoulet, wild boar ragu, or smoky ribs. Mourvèdre’s tannins are bold but not bitter, lending the wine the weight and texture it needs to pair with such hearty fare.

Sommelier Secret

Mourvèdre used to have significant plantings in California, but it was unfashionable and its presence was quickly declining in the late 20th century. In the 1980s, a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley (aptly named the Rhône Rangers) brought the variety back into the spotlight. Plantings have since increased and “GSM” blends are now a highly-regarded specialty of the Central Coast.

AWABBP031_2003 Item# 85182