As the nights are getting longer and the days are getting colder, we couldn't think of anything better than a full-bodied organic red to chose as our wine of the month.
In a nutshell: A full-bodied organic red from Jumilla in hot, south-eastern Spain.
The lowdown: Elena Pacheco, the winemaker at Viña Elena, specialises in getting the best out of the area's dominant red grape, Monastrell. Organically cultivated, non-irrigated bush vines are the source of the fruit here. The wine is made without oak ageing and is meant to be enjoyed young and vibrant. It has bright aromas of fresh raspberries, red cherries and strawberries together with some floral notes. On the palate, there are lots of dark, sweet, spiced fruits with notes of balsamic vinegar and spice. With plenty of weight, it's vibrant, refreshing and well-balanced with an elegant finish.
When to drink: A lot of wine for the money, this is the epitome of well made Monastrell.
Widely considered to be one of the best wineries in Jumilla, Viña Elena is a family concern that dates back to 1948. Now in the hands of the third generation, Elena Pacheco is at the helm and is ably supported by her mother, sisters and children. Viña Elena is situated in the north of Murcia, directly inland from the Costa Blanca and the bustling city of Alicante.
Safe to say, it is hot in this south-east corner of Spain and Elena is fascinated by Monastrell and how she can create more elegant and delicate incarnations of it ever, despite the intensity of the sun in these parts.
From their 17 hectares of organically cultivated vines set within the semi-arid, hilly landscape, Elena experiments with the differing soil types to see how Monastrell will react and how she can express the personality of the grape. The differing terroir, organic practices and the lack of oak influence all go to create fascinating wines of greater elegance, fruit and delicacy than the heat of this sun worshippers' land would have you expect.
Mixed 6 Price: