James Suckling 92
Great black fruit that is fully ripe without a hint of overripeness. This is a big, rich wine. Rather fine and generous tannins help it carry the high-ish alcohol. Almost silky at the long finish.
Bodegas VolverView all from Bodegas Volver
Alicante has been inhabited for over 7,000 years, and has produced wine for almost as long. In fact, archaeologists have discovered ancient Roman amphora in Alicante. Due to the hardiness of Monastrell, and the harsh climate, agriculture in this region has outlasted many plagues, including oidium and phylloxera.
This south-eastern corner of Spain was always attractive to Jorge Ordóñez, who started Bodegas Volver ~ Alicante in 2009 with Rafael Cañizares after they had seen success with their project in La Mancha. Jorge was the pioneer in developing a market for Monastrell in the United States, and was the first person to introduce wines from Jumilla. His past projects in Jumilla were resoundingly successful.
Located in the town of Pinoso, the winery owns 185Ha. of mostly old vine Monastrell, the most important local indigenous variety, planted between 1925 and 1979. The vines are located high in the mountains surrounding Pinoso, in a very arid, extreme climate that is challenging for the vines, but produces distinctive, intense wines. Monastrell located in such arid climate regularly reaches 15-17% natural alcohol at the point of phenolic maturity, but the cold nights (caused by the high altitudes) provide balancing acidity. Additionally, Monastrell is a grape that retains incredible natural acidity at high levels of alcohol. The vineyards are planted in soils that are primarily dominated by chunks of pure chalk. The largest marble quarry in Europe is located near the vineyards, testament to the chalky quality of the soils. These soils add a drastic minerality and elegant chalky texture to the wines. All of the vines are dry farmed and head trained.