"...There is precision, cleanliness, definition and elegance like I hadn't seen before and refined tannins with a pungent mineral sensation in the textured finish. This is an incredible wine for the price asked." - Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
Las Gravas comes from a profoundly rocky, single vineyard of the same name. A classic Mediterranean blend of Monastrell with a touch of Garnacha, the ripe fruit is balanced with a percentage of whole cluster fermentation, giving a fresh floral character to this marvellous wine.
The phenomenal 2020 Las Gravas was produced with 92% Monastrell from 30- to 40-year-old vines on north-facing gravel soils (hence its name) complemented with 8% Garnacha. It fermented with 30% full clusters and indigenous yeasts in underground stone lagares and matured in a combination of 500-liter barrel and 5,000-liter foudres for 16 months. It has classical parameters, 14.5% alcohol, a pH of 3.47 and 4.87 grams of acidity per liter.
The wine is super perfumed and floral, really showy, elegant, nuanced and refined, with the notes of pine needles and wet soil much subtler than in the 2019. There is an ethereal character to the 2020s that I haven't found in any previous vintage here, but at the same time, the wines are very mineral and have lots of energy and light. There is precision, cleanliness, definition and elegance like I hadn't seen before and refined tannins with a pungent mineral sensation in the textured finish. This is an incredible wine for the price asked.
The sun-baked landscape of Jumilla doesn't immediately strike you as a place to produce graceful wines, with 300 days of sunshine per year and low rainfall. The secret which Jose María Vicente has discovered is the Levant native Monastrell (known as Mourvedre in France) which loves the chalky terroirs and cooler slopes of the Sierra del Molar. Jose María's grandfather purchased the property 1941, the original cellar was built by Frenchmen fleeing phylloxera in 1870. Jose María and his father replanted the whole property with native varietals in 1985.
Their low-density bush vines give tiny yields in these conditions. All grapes are hand-harvested, sorted and fermented in stainless steel or concrete. They're starting to practice more whole-bunch fermentation, to counterbalance the ripeness. Ageing is in concrete and seasoned oak. They produce three single varietals and two single-vineyard wines. Pie Franco, named after the un-grafted vines, is building a reputation as one of the best reds in Spain, and all the wines brilliantly combine finesse with the Mediterranean character of the zone.