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MONASTRELL

Red Variety

GRAPE

HISTORY

VITICULTURE

Monastrell (also known as Matoe and Mourvèdre) is a grape variety grown in many regions of the world, including the Spanish Denominations of Origin (DO) in Valencia and Jumilla, and the French regions of the Rhone and Provence.

Monastrell tends to produce tannic wines that may have a high alcohol content. The style of wine produced from this grape varies a lot depending on where it is produced and the terrain, but in general we can say that its wines have aromas of soft red fruits. With shades of plum red and ruby depending on the type of wine made.

The variety can be difficult to grow because it prefers “to have the sun above and water below,” which means that it needs a very warm climate, very few leaves with respect to the fruit , and an adequate amount of water or an irrigation system in order to produce tasty and intense fruits.

The monastrell was introduced by the Phoenicians around the year 500 BC. The original name is Muviedro but according to regions it was adapted. In the area of the Spanish Levant hosted the Monastrell name.

Monastrell was established in Roussillon, France, in the sixteenth century, and from there it spread eastwards to Provence and the Rhone. It was widely spread until the 19th century when the phylloxera epidemic occurred. France and other European countries recovered their vineyards with vitis vine cuttings brought from America. At that time it was discovered that the monastrell was not well rooted and many vine growers replanted their vineyards with other varieties. So the variety was limited in its cultivation in the Spanish uprising of the denominations of origin. The main areas were Yecla, Jumilla, Bullas and Alicante.

The monastrell benefits from a dry and windy climate to protect against viticultural hazards such as mildew. Monastrel clusters are compact, which increases susceptibility to mildew. They have small grapes with thick skins that have a lot of color and many flavors to phenolic compounds, especially tannins. The variety is late maturing and has the power to mature with high levels of sugars. These can be transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process. The vine can be very vigorous and produce abundant foliage, which can overshadow the clusters of grapes. Farmers can increase foliage by maintenancing the canopy. 

The harvest time is usually very short. Once it reaches its high point of maturity, the acidity begins to fall quickly and the grapes begin to dry and develop plum flavors. One of the advantages of the thick skin of the monastrell is that it can substain the late rains of the harvest without the berries swelling and exploding, which can happen with varieties with finer skins, like the Grenache.

Monastrell produces compact, medium-sized clusters. They are usually conical in shape and feature a small cluster on one side that can be discarded during green pruning. The leaves often have a truncated wedge shape.

Garnacha Tintorera

Red Variety

GRAPE

HISTORY

VITICULTURE

VITICAL REGIONS

The garnacha tintorera is a grape that has been cultivated extensively since 1866. It is a cross between the petit Bouschet (which in turn is a very old cross of the teinturier varieties of Cher and aramon) and the Grenache.

The garnacha tintorera is a teinturier, a grape with red pulp. It is one of the few teinturier grapes that belong to the vitis vinifera species. Its intense colour makes it perfect to mix with light red wine. It was planted largely in California during the American Dry Law for export to the East Coast. Its thick skin made it resistant to putrefaction during the transport process. The intense red color was also useful to increase the amount of wine during the ban, since it could be diluted without demeaning in its appearance.

The grape was first cultivated in France in 1866 by Henri Bouschet (who had created it in 1855) 1 as a cross of the petit Bouschet and Grenache. The petit Bouschet was a grape created by his father, Louis Bouschet. The result was to produce a grape with an intense color and a higher quality than the teinturier du Cher. Some varieties of the Alicante Bouschet were produced of different qualitys. The grape with higher yield and easier maintenance gained popularity among French winemakers, especially in the years following the phylloxera epidemic. At the end of century XIX there were plantations of garnacha tintorera in Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Valley of the Loire and in Alentejo (Portugal).

The grape was widely known in the United States during the Dry Law years. Californian farmers in the Central Valley discovered that their pulp was so fleshy and juicy that their juice could be fermented even in the third pressing.

The leaf is small to medium size, presenting the characteristic in the form of claw towards its underside; The color of the leaves on top is very dark green, while the underside has a cottony texture. The cluster is small, with a short conical shape. Its berries are of medium size and spherical shape. They have the colored pulp, which serves to give more color to the wine. Precisely its name comes from that amount of color that contributes by its colored pulp. As for the color of the skin it is almost black blue.

In France, the grape has been mixed historically with the aramon, but in recent times more wines have been made with this variety. However, the planting of new vines has declined. In some areas of France, the grape is already extinct.

In Spain it is very widespread. According to Order APA / 1819/2007, garnacha tintorera grape is a recommended vine variety in the autonomous communities of Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia; and it is authorized in Aragon, Castile and Leon, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia and Murcia.

Petit Verdot

Red Variety

GRAPE

HISTORY

VITICULTURE

VITICAL REGIONS

ENOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The Petit verdot is a variety of black grape used in the production of red wine.

The fact that it matures much later than most other grape varieties prevents it to thrive successfully in many of the French regions, and is found only in the region of Bordeaux. Its main use is to add aroma, color, acid and tannin (sometimes also used to increase the alcoholic content) to many of the great French red wines, by means of an addition not exceeding 10% of the total. While in areas with a warmer climate such as Spanish, California or Argentina, the wines obtained there are totally different.

The Petit Verdot is native to the south-west of France. In the Gallic country they have certain problems for the maturation of this variety, but on the other side, the Iberian peninsula, it is obtaining very interesting wines due to the Spanish viticulturewhich has a greater number of hours of sunshine and superior average temperatures.

At the end of the twentieth century the variety was introduced in other wine regions such as Spanish Levante, Australia and Argentina where due to the different climate obtained totally different wines. It is in these climates the variety expresses all its oenological potential.

The clusters are small with low compactness and very long peduncle.

The berries are small and equal in size with dark violet skins. Long pedicels that are difficult to detach from the berries.

Thick hollow. non-pigmented pulp, compact, very juicy, with raspberry flavor.

Strains: Medium vigor and very short internodes, with semi-fast bearing. Late sprouting and ripening. High fertility.

It is cultivated recently in Chile, Uruguay, California, Colorado, Texas, Washington, Virginia, Australia, Venezuela, British Columbia, New Zealand and Bolivia, also in order to promote other wines.

In Spain it was introduced in 1991 by winemaker Juan Manuel Vetas in Ronda (Malaga) and is now an authorized variety for the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Castile and Leon, Extremadura, Region of Murcia and Comunidad Valenciana.

Its aromas have been compared to banana and pencil shavings. It acquires strong violaceous tones during the ripening process.

Tasting notes: Red violaceous, intense and bright. The notes of red fruits, plums and blackberries and, when combined with the aromas of caramel, vanilla and mocha contributed by the aging in wood, results in a great aromatic complexity. Large volume, very fatty and fleshy. Acidity present and well balanced that gives good relief in the mouth. The tannins are sweet and well balanced with the sweetness of the fruit and the wood.

Syrah

Red Variety

GRAPE

HISTORY

VITICULTURE

VITICAL REGIONS

ENOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Syrah, also known as shiraz, is an red grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce red wine. A 1999 DNA analysis found that syrah was descended from two dark grapes from southeastern France, the dureza and the blanche mondeuse. The syrah should not be confused with the petite sirah, which is synonymous with the durif, a cross between syrah and peloursin dating from 1880.

The style and flavor profile of wines made from syrah is influenced by the climate where the grapes are grown. Moderate climates (such as those in the north of the Rhone Valley and parts of the Washington State AVA Walla Walla) tend to produce a medium-full body wine with medium-high levels of tannins, as well as blackberry, mint and black pepper. In warm climates (such as those in Spain, Crete and the Barossa Valley of Australia) the wines are more consistent, with full body, softer tannins and notes of fruit, spices, anise and earth. In many regions, the acidity and tannic levels of syrah give it greater aging ability.

Syrah is used for monovarietal and multivariate wines. After a few years of intensive planting, in 2004 syrah became the seventh most planted grape, with a total of 142,600 ha.3 It can be found all over the world, from France to regions of the New World such as Chile, South Africa, Hawke’s Bay of New Zealand, California.

Syrah has a documented long history in the Rhone. In 1998, a study used the DNA profile and reference material of the winegrowing region of the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier to conclude that the syrah descended from the grapes dureza ( Father) and mondeuse blanche (mother).

DNA analysis leaves no doubt, and the many remaining hypotheses of the origin of the grape over the years lack documented evidence, ampelographic, botanical or DNA research. Instead, they seem to have relied only on the similarity of the synonyms of the variety., There are also those who have sugguested the Italian city of Siracusa or the Iranian city of Shiraz as places of origin of the grape.

Bud apex: cottony, white-green; Some with lightly carmine side ends.

Herbaceous stem: slightly curved, with the ends turned upwards, woolly, more intensely towards the apex; Green, with some brownish coloration in knots.

Hermaphrodite flower.

Adult leaf: Central lobule flat or folded asymmetrically, sides folded upwards; Nediana; orbicular; Moderately blistered, with variable intensity; green; Opaque; typically trilobada.

There are many hectares of syrah in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In the New World there has been much cultivation of this variaty in the United States, Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Australia, among others.

Small amounts of syrah are used for the production of various wine styles, such as rosé wine, but can also be used for young wines and wines matured in barrels.

Due to their concentrated flavors and high tainic levels, many premium syrahs improve after bottle aging. In exceptional cases, they may age 15 years or more.

Usually the wines made from syrah have a lot of flavor and good body. The variety produces wines with a wide range of flavors, depending on the climate, the terrain where the vine grows, and the practices of viticulture.

The aromas can range from violets, dark fruits, chocolate to espresso and black pepper. There is no aroma that can be considered typical of this wine, although there are usually aromas of blackberry and pepper. During bottle aging these “primary” notes are moderated and then supplemented with tertiary “earthy” notes such as leather and truffle.