Kravitz still has a knack for finding good wines at great prices – Robert Parker, Parker on Wine, BusinessWeek, 8/20 & 27, 2007

Hand Picked Selections in Murcia

The region of Murcia is situated along the Mediterranean coast, between the regions of Andalusia (to the west) and the Valencian Community (to the east). Covering about 4,400 square miles, the region is home to about 1.4 million people, with about 430,000 of them residing in the capital city (also called Murcia). With abundant sun and heat, the economy is driven largely by agriculture, though the arid climate and scarcity of water do pose challenges to this industry. As a quality wine region, this up-and-coming section of southeastern Spain has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past two decades, making it one of the most exciting viticultural provinces of Spain.With nearly 80,000 acres under vines, Jumilla is the largest and best of the Murcian DOs. The town of Jumilla is a quiet, dusty place, known in Roman times for the production of its rich, red wines. There was a burst of prosperity in the late 1800's, as this isolated area remained untouched by phyloxera. In 1989 the malicious bug arrived, and many of the vineyards died. The silver lining was that the need to replant allowed growers to dramatically improve their vineyards. The principal grape here is Monastrell (85% of DO plantings), which DNA testing has confirmed to be genetically identical to the Mourvèdre grape, but there is also Cincibel (Tempranillo), Garnacha, Alicante and Syrah. Altitude is of key importance to wine quality in Jumilla: despite the blazing hot climate, vineyards planted at altitudes of 1,300 to nearly 3,000 ft above sea level benefit from cooler temperatures, which lengthens the growing season and allows for greater phenolic maturity in the fruit. When tasting, it is easy to pick-out Monastrell from higher altitude plantings, as they bring an added freshness, raciness, subtlety and vivacity.Yecla and Bullas are the other two Murcian DOs, and with 17,000 and 5,600 acres under vines (respectively), produce significantly less wine than Jumilla. Like Jumilla, both are dominated by plantings of Monastrell. Yecla is directly to the east of Jumilla and shares a common border, while Bullas is spread out over the western part of Murcia.