Spain located on the Iberian Peninsula, has over 2.9 million acres planted—making it the most widely planted wine producing nation but it is the third largest producer of wine in the world, the largest being France followed by Italy. This is due, in part, to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry, infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. The country has an abundance of native grape varieties, with over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain though 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20 grapes—including the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell; the whites Albariño from Galicia, Palomino, Airen, and Macabeo; and the three cava grapes Parellada, Xarel·lo, and Macabeo. Major Spanish wine regions include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero which are known for their Tempranillo production; Valdepeñas, drunk by Unamuno and Hemingway, known for high quality tempranillo at low prices; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas in the northwest region of Galicia that is known for its white wines made from Albariño and Catalonia which includes the Cava and still wine producing regions of the Penedès as well the Priorat region. Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. The system shares many similarities with the hierarchical Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system of France, Portugal's Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and Italy's Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system.
- Item #: i_382574Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Las Gravas suffered in comparison with the ethereal 2017 I tasted next to it. It’s a blend of Monastrell with 15% each Garnacha and Syrah. This is the last year to have any Syrah, which was discontinued in 2017. It has an herbal twist, notes of dry herbs and pine nuts, an earthy touch and some dusty tannins that make me think of the gravelly soils."
- Item #: i_381426Bottle Size: 750ml60% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah
We have developed quite the Pavlovian relationship with wines from Juan Gil and Gil Family Estates over the years; before we even get a chance to taste these wines, we tend to salivate in anticipation of the great tasting experience ahead. Why is that? Simply put, their track record here in the store, with our valued clientele and staff, is excellent, as are their wines. From their entry-level bargains on the ramp to their more advanced selections in the cellar, we have found their portfolio to be consistent in both how good the wines are to drink and the quality-to-price ratio: lots of bang for the buck with these bottlings! The 2017 "Blue Label" fits right in with our expectations and we are, once again, overjoyed to share how great this juice is!
A blend of 60% Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre), 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, the nose is filled with scents of fresh berries, cedar, incense, wet clay and notes of hillside garrique. Upon tasting, the sweet fruits make their presence known, displaying flavors of mixed strawberries, cherries and boysenberries that are grounded with big firm tannins and grippy acidity. A big, beautiful wine with tons of fruit balanced by savory notes and magnificent structure. A final nosing (so sexy!) brings further hints of pie crust, graham cracker and rose garden. We love it! Enjoy with ribs, lamb, burgers, tapas, hard cheese, meat pizza, mushroom dishes, sausages (great red for summer grilling)!
- Item #: i_373831Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "I also tasted the following vintage, the 2018 Juan Gil (silver label), from a cooler and rainier, more continental vintage than the 2017 I tasted next to it. The origin is the same, Monastrell from their own old, non-irrigated vines fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels for around 12 months. This is the first vintage that is certified organic. There were some challenges, but they resulted in a fresh and balanced wine with integrated oak and a juicy and round palate. They have introduced optical sorting of the grapes, and perhaps that's why there is more precision and purity. They cannot do manual sorting at this price point, but optical sorting seems like a good alternative. 2018 is a more difficult vintage than the 2017, yet this wine is better, juicier and seems to absorb the oak better, with just a smoky touch that reminded me somehow of a Northern Rhône. Really impressive. 312,000 bottles. It was bottled in June 2020."
- Item #: i_382509Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91From the maker of El Nido and Clio we present a 91-point, vegan, dry-farmed wine from one of our favorite Spanish producers, Juan Gil! We have long championed the wines of Juan Gil because they consistently offer top quality bottlings for reasonable prices. This red blend continues their hit streak, once again, and captured February’s "Wine of the Month" crown after it vanquished some 25 other samples we evaluated. Noting that this is the inaugural release of this wine for the US market, we believe it’s just the beginning of a beautiful friendship...
A blend of 45% Monastrell (Mourvédre), 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, the nose on this one is quite fascinating: fresh fruit notes of strawberry and blackberry lead to deeper tones of spice, tea and mixed herbals. A beautiful violet and lavender component is evident upon nosing but really shines when tasting-- the florals seem to evaporate and burst in the olfactory while sipping. And the forward fruits take the lead upon tasting: plum, raspberries and mixed red fruits with a strong kirsch hint on the finish. Excellent acidity completely balances the ripe fruit making for a harmonious glass-- it’s perfectly delicious on its own but is a great food wine, as well (think hearty, meaty dishes, from hamburgers and pizza to short ribs, veal, pork, lamb, sausage, game and other meats, especially grilled meats-- winter fare!).
The origins of Bodegas Juan Gil date from 1916 when Juan Gil Gimènez, great grandfather of the present generation, began getting involved in the world of wines and built a winery in the heart of Jumilla, Spain. His son, Juan Gil Guerrero, dedicated his entire life to the wine business, however, it was the third generation who really consolidated the winery. Juan Gil Gonzalez, together with his brother Paco, the founder’s grandsons, forged an image of quality, reliability and efficiency. The present Gil generation continually strive to maintain and improve the Juan Gil standard, which is evident through the remarkable wines they produce.
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Produced for the US market, this is the first vintage of the 2018 Juan Gil Red Blend. It is 45% Monastrell, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah from a year more in line with 2016, more continental and with more rain, despite which, the wine is still 15% alcohol. The different grapes fermented and matured separately for 12 months. It's ripe and has notes of chocolate and spices, keeping some herbal undertones and with the tasty and pungent notes from the Cabernet. 54,000 bottles produced. This wine is sold exclusively in the US. It was bottled in June 2020."