Juan Gil Albacea 2006

Now this is much more like it. 100% monastrell from Jumilla, a denomination in Murcia in the south of Spain. This costs £7.99 at Virgin Wine, which seems to be the only place in the UK to offer it. At 14.5% it’s quite alcoholic, and you can pick that up on the nose, but it’s not in the least offputting, combined as it is with a deep, warm, inviting fruitiness. Not overbearingly tannic, with plenty of dried fruit and forest flavours, this has everything you need to help you through a cold, dark night. It’s a couple of years old, and must have spent at least six months in oak. I’m guessing this, because the winemaker’s website (www.juangil.es) doesn’t mention this particular wine and Virgin fill their site with gushing prose that, on reflection, doesn’t really mean very much.

Of this they say: “Rich, lush, multi-layered coffee and chocolate dusted berry flavours sound like a nice cocktail to you? For us this old-vine classic tasted like an established icon wine. But it’s from new kids on the block who just happen to have drop-dead brilliant vines at their disposal.”

I’d say that at £7.99 it’s pretty good value, and at a pound less it would get a pretty hearty recommendation, but I’ve very much enjoyed having a couple of glasses.

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