2015 Juan Gil Blue Label, Jumilla (750ml)

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Country: Spain
Region: Jumilla
Grape Varietal: Mourvedre
Review Score: 92WA
Alcohol By Volume: 15.5%
B-21 Top Recommendation: Read More

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The wine formerly known as 18 Months, as it matured in barrel for that amount of time, has been identified for the past few years by the color of its label, blue in this case, of which I tasted the 2015 Juan Gil (blue label). The blend is the same: 60% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, and the fermentation and élevage similar: separate grapes by variety in stainless steel for two weeks with neutral yeasts and malolactic followed by the 18 months in barrel. It's the only one of the five reds that I found oaky, as the oak has been reduced in all the range; the aromas of the American wood used in part of the Monastrell is quite noticeable. Even here they have gradually been reducing the toast of the barrels and are slowly introducing second and third use barrels trying to respect the fruit. They are not sure what they are going to achieve in terms of aging potential if they reduce the oak further. In any case, this is still very young and will need more time in bottle to better integrate the oak, but it will always remain a generously oaked red, for those that are tolerant and enjoy the smoky, spicy and oaky aromas and flavors. It has notes of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, tobacco leaves and sweet spices, with that sensation of sweetness even if the wine is dry or there's less fruit. Having said that, the oakiness is noticeable when tasted with the Juan Gil range, but when I compared it with the Clio and El Nico, it seemed a lot more integrated, so it's all relative. It seems like the vintage could develop nicely in bottle. 36,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2017.

92 points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 234 - Dec 2017)